GoM to fast-track Rs69,000-cr revival plan of BSNL, MTNL
30 December 2019
The government has constituted a seven-member group of ministers (GoM) to fast-track the implementation of the Rs69,000-crore revival plan for state-owned telecom operators BSNL and MTNL.
In October this year, the government approved a Rs69,000-crore revival package for BSNL and MTNL, which included a voluntary retirement scheme for surplus workforce and allocation of 4G spectrum, besides an asset monetisation plan.
The GoM will expedite smooth implementation of revival plan for of two telcos and the sale of surplus assets to garner revenue for implementation of the schemes.
The GoM will also oversee the merger of BSNL and MTNL to form one national grid, which is expected to become a profit-making entity in two years.
Apo resent, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) provides services in Mumbai and New Delhi, while Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) serves the rest of the nation. Both are loss-making companies.
The GoM includes defence minister Rajnath Singh, IT and telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, home minister Amit Shah, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, commerce minister Piyush Goyal and petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
Meanwhile the VRS programme has been successfully completed with nearly 92,700 employees of BSNL and MTNL opting to leave over the last few weeks. The successful implementation of the VRS scheme will help the debt-laden telcos save about Rs8,800 crore annually in salary bills.
The two firms will also monetise assets worth Rs37,500 crore in the next three years.
Meanwhile, BSNL has come up with two broadband plans for new users who are looking to join the ISP. The new broadband plans include Rs299 and Rs491 plans, offering 20 Mbps speeds and six months validity. Alongside the standard data benefit, these two plans will also come with unlimited voice calling facility via BSNL landline service.
The country’s leading broadband operator introduced the plans on a promotional basis on 27 December and they will be valid for 90 days from the date of introduction. Customers, however, can migrate to other plans for six months. The plan is available only to new broadband customers and to BSNL landline customers without a broadband connection.
These, however, are non-FTTH broadband plans from BSNL and the speeds and FUP limit are on the lower side.
BSNL was the first Indian broadband service provider to launch plans offering daily data benefit.
BSNL has a wide range of broadband plans, starting from Rs99 and going all the way up to Rs16,999 offering 100 Mbps speeds.
The Rs 299 plan offers 20 Mbps speeds up to 50GB, after which the speeds will be reduced to 1 Mbps, and there’s no FUP limit. The plan also allows users to avail unlimited voice calling via BSNL landline service.
There’s a Rs 500 security deposit at the time of taking a new connection and the company will not charge anything as installation charges.
The Rs491 non-FTTH broadband plan is also available for new users and existing BSNL landline customers without a broadband connection. Benefits of this plan include 20 Mbps speeds and 120GB FUP limit every month, after which the speeds will be reduced to 1 Mbps. This plan also comes with unlimited voice calling option to any network within India and Rs 500 security deposit will also be collected from the new users.
After six months, BSNL will automatically migrate the Rs 491 plan users to 3GB CUL broadband plan available in the respective circle. BSNL is providing these two plans on a monthly payment option only and there are annual or half-yearly payment options available.
BSNL is providing one-year of free Amazon Prime membership worth Rs999 to the broadband users who are getting a plan priced above Rs399 for one year. But the Rs491 plan is not eligible for this offer because it lacks the annual payment option.
Since the plans are non-FTTH, the company is providing very basic speeds and FUP limit. Instead of these two plans, new BSNL users can choose the Bharat Fibre plan of Rs777 that offers 50 Mbps speeds and unlimited calling facility as well.