BSNL listing may be announced in budget

A statement of intent for BSNL's proposed listing may be announced in the upcoming budget, according to a top official in the communications ministry.

According to the official, the department of telecom and BSNL would work on the IPO after the budget session is over. The proposal for the IPO was submitted last year.

"Once the IPO is announced, the government will go ahead with the listing even if a section of the employees are opposed to it," the official reportedly added.

BSNL had to abandon its earlier plan of selling 10 per cent to raise Rs40,000 crore due to opposition from its employee unions and the fall in stock markets.

BSNL is waiting for the government's approval for its IPO. "We will start negotiating with the employee unions once we get the approval from the government to go ahead with the IPO," said the company's chairman and managing director Kuldeep Goyal.

Goyal added, "We are confident of resolving all issues with the employee unions. Once the government takes a decision on the IPO, then we will convince the unions. Even last year, when we held talks, there was a section of the union that was willing to consider it. I think they if we explain the move in perspective they will come on board."

An earlier offer by BSNL in 2008 giving its eemployees 500 shares at Rs 10 was rejected by the employees' union.

BSNL is planning to take its services to Africa and has over Rs30,000 crores in reserves. (See: BSNL earmarks $6 billion for overseas acquisitions; eyes IPO)

The company has recently rolled out 3G services in India. (See: BSNL to expand 3G services to 700 cities by June)

"We will have to await the decision of the government. We will start negotiating with (employee) unions once we get the government's approval," Goel said.