Congress slams govt over BSNL, MTNL losses

 The Congress on Monday hit out at the Centre over state-owned telecom firms MTNL and BSNL reeling under losses, alleging that the Modi dispensation was helping private telecom companies at the cost of public sector undertakings. Both state-run telecom firms BSNL and MTNL have been reporting losses since the time they were asked to pay auction determined spectrum price in 2010 for all the circles where they operate. "Problem is not with #BSNL & #MTNL. Problem is malice of BJP government to help Pvt telcos at the cost of PSU's," Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted.

He alleged that the BJP government did not allot BSNL and MTNL 4G and all private telecom firms are pumping in finance but BSNL is barred from taking loans. There has been zero capital investment by government and no investment in towers, he alleged. "Each countryman must also think- 1. In Congress government in 2013-14 MTNL posted a Net Profit of Rs 7,838 crore. In BJP government in 2019, MTNL is reeling under a Net Loss of Rs 3,390 crore. MTNL operates in Delhi and Mumbai and BSNL in rest of the 20 telecom circles. While MTNL has been continuously posting loss and has shown no signs of revival, BSNL posted operating profits of Rs 672 crore in 2014-15, Rs 3,885 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 1,684 crore in 2016-17.

Citing lower debt and a continuous increase in market share, an association comprising engineers and account professionals at BSNL has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention for the revival of the state-run firm and also said that non-performing employees should be held accountable. The All India Graduate Engineers and Telecom Officers Association (AIGETOA) in a letter dated June 18 urged the prime minister to provide budgetary support to BSNL to help address liquidity crunch that is adversely impacting operation and maintenance of services at the organization.

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