BSNL: The hunger for subsidies never ends

Posted on February 16, 2016  /  0 Comments

BSNL has been favored child, being fed enormous subsidies and fees by different governments in power in India. But it appears the hunger is insatiable.

BSNL and MTNL have not been compensated by the government for the spectrum they surrendered three years ago. The Forum has also demanded that a payment of Rs.1,250 crore be made to BSNL, a sum already sanctioned in lieu of the discontinued subsidies and the Access Deficit Charge (or ADC, envisaged as a cross subsidy by private mobile operators for use of landline services run by BSNL), which was discontinued in 2008 on a recommendation by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). BSNL also used to receive subsidies from the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) created under the Department of Telecommunications for loss-making connections provided in lakhs of villages under the government’s universal service policy. For the last three years, BSNL has not received any money from the USOF, though the USOF recommended that it should get Rs.1,250 crore.

In this rather weird PR piece published in Frontline, there is not one single admission of any shortcomings on the part of BSNL, only complaints of the ill deeds of others. There is a case for counselling, but difficult to see how that can be done for the many thousands of BSNL employees.

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