Union Information Technology and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that there is no proposal to privatize public sector telecom giants BSNL or MTNL. Responding to questions during the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, Prasad said the government is making all efforts to make these PSUs financially sound. Also Read - BSNL to launch pan-India 4G by September 2022Also Read - The craze for VIP number gets crazier, as potato trader buys a VIP BSNL number for Rs 2.4 lakh
He described the public sector as important for healthy competition. Prasad also said mobile rates in India are among the lowest in the world and added that the Indian mobile sector is growing. Also Read - BSNL offering up to 4 months free broadband service: Here's how to avail the offer
Last week, during an interview with a business daily, Prasad had acknowledged that both BSNL and MTNL were loss-making state-owned telecom service providers, and he was determined to ensure a performance turnaround as had been done by the Vajpayee-led government for Coal India.
He also maintained that the previous UPA regime had made a mess of the two PSUs by not providing them with requisite infrastructure support for four to five years. Both of these units have been posting losses for the last four to five years, and have a miniscule market share of just eleven percent.
There is no time frame at present for turning around BSNL and MTNL.