Minister calls for ‘immediate action’ to save debt-laden providers

8 Apr 2013

Telecoms minister Kapil Sibal has called for PM Manmohan Singh to revive debt-laden state-backed telco’s Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL). The Hindustan Times quotes Sibal as saying: ‘Due to change in business environment and hyper competition in the telecommunications market, financial positions of BSNL and MTNL has deteriorated in last three to four years. Although the results for fiscal year 2012-13 have not yet been declared, I expect the net worth of MTNL to have been completely eroded.’ The minister added that BSNL is expected to make a loss of some INR100 billion (USD1.823 billion) in the current fiscal year. Sibal suggested that a group of ministers be tasked with reviving the two telcos, adding that ‘immediate action together with financial support would be required to put these [operators] back on track.’