State-run BSNL on Thursday said its revival plans are under active consideration of the government through VRS and 4G spectrum allocation.
“Recently, there have been published media reports on clsoure of BSNL. It is clarified that there is a plan under active consideration for revival of BSNL by the government by giving suitable packages in terms of VRS/4G spectrum and allowing monetisation of assets available with BSNL,” it said in a statement.
Official sources said the Finance Ministry is not in favour of capital infusion in BSNL and MTNL as it does not see any utility of such funding into sick PSUs at a time when it is required to step up public spending to revive a slowing economy. The ministry has put forward its views in the draft cabinet note circulated in this regard earlier.
In the Cabinet note, the Department of Telecom had sought Rs 50,000 crore over a 10-year period (through bonds) for a voluntary retirement scheme, 4G spectrum, and working capital, said Finance Ministry sources adding the Ministry had expressed its stand on the revival plan in the detailed cabinet note.
“As the ministry which would allocate funds, we have have given our view on the proposals of BSNL/MTNL. It`s up to the Cabinet to decide what to do and when to take up the proposal,” officials said.
The Prime Minister`s Office (PMO) is also open to consider revival plans for the ailing telecom PSUs. But with continuous opposition of the Finance Ministry, the PMO is also now learnt to have asked the high-level panel, looking into the revival of MTNL and BSNL, to explain if the two telecom PSUs can be turned around and how.
A group of ministers headed by Home Minister Amit Shah had earlier approved the revival plan proposed by the Department of Telecom.