Govt defers BSNL-MTNL merger, says BBNL-BSNL merger being considered

The government has deferred the merger of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) to due financial reasons which include the high debt of MTNL, minister of state for communication Devusinh Chauhan told the Parliament on Wednesday.

In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Chauhan said that the government was however considering a proposal for the merger of Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) and BSNL.

The Indian Express had on January 9 reported that the government had decided to merge BBNL and BSNL by the end of this fiscal and that the latter was likely to finish BharatNet work, started by BBNL.

The merger of BSNL and MTNL, approved by the Union cabinet in October 2019, was a part of the revival package for both the telecom companies as a part of which employees of both the telcos would be given the option of choosing voluntary retirement from the service. The employees who chose to retire have been given a lump sum amount including some retirement benefits.

The Cabinet had then also approved a revival package of Rs 29,937 crore for the two loss-making telecoms. The revival package includes raising of Rs 15,000 crore sovereign bonds and monetising Rs 38,000 crore of assets in next four years.

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