India news special: BSNL-MTNL merger off?

27 Oct 2006

The Indian government may cancel its long-held plan to merge state-run telcos Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) because the companies are ‘doing much better by themselves,’ according to the Indian Express, quoting telecoms minister Dayanidhi Maran. MTNL provides services in Delhi and Mumbai, whilst BSNL operates across the rest of the country, and an operational merger of the pair has long been on the cards. However, Maran says that whilst discussions are ongoing, a deal suitable to all parties has yet to be agreed. He made the comments shortly after the state received its biggest ever full year dividends from MTNL and BSNL, totalling INR13.52 billion (USD299 million).