New Delhi, Jun 6: Accusing the newly sworn-in Narendara Modi government of 'killing' Mahanagr Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) by not allowing them to provide 4G and 5G networks, Congress on Thursday demanded that the government should take immediate steps to save these PSUs.
Addressing media persons at AICC headquarters, party spokesperson Pawan Khera said that the latest independent audit report of MTNL reflects that the PSU is on the verge of shutting down.
"Why are the hands of MTNL and BSNL tied? 5G is something which is now being provided by other private players and you don’t allow these companies to even go beyond 3G – why? As a result, you see these companies bleeding to a slow death; slow but certain death", Mr Khera said.
Alleging that the BJP government's policy has resulted in complete financial chaos in MTNL, Mr Khera pointed out that the future of 45000 employees of MTNL and their families is in grave danger.
"The license of MTNL shall be cancelled if it doesn’t pay a whopping Rs 11000 crore to renew its license via TRAI", he said.
Taking on the Modi government, the Congress spokesperson further said that when private telecom players are launching 5G, BJP government is blocking the allocation of 4G Spectrum to BSNL and MTNL and they are being forced to continue serving only 3G Service.
"This is deliberate bleeding and enfeebling of a government PSU by not allowing competing with private players in a highly expanding market, with rapidly developing technologies", he added.
Referring to the previously held press conference on April 4, Mr Khera said that the Congress party had raised the issue of killing BSNL/MTNL, "detailing how both the telecom PSUs’ were facing the ‘financial wrath’ of BJP government".
"But the BJP government remained unmoved. Now the MTNL’s net worth has been fully eroded. The current liabilities of the MTNL have exceeded the current assets substantially. It is doubtful that the company can continue", he added.
The Congress spokesperson further alleged that under UPA government in 2013-14, MTNL posted a Net Profit of Rs 7,838 crore, however, under the BJP government in 2019, MTNL is reeling under a net loss of Rs 3,390 Crore.
"The BJP government's policies are responsible for a total loss of Rs 11,228 crore in past five years. The revenues during 2019 came in lower by 16 percent at Rs 1,987.80 crore versus last year, and were the lowest in six years. The firm’s total liabilities during the financial year 2018-2019 stood at Rs 14,601.82 crore, while the net worth of the company is negative Rs 9,918.33 crore", he added.
Mr Khera stated that the government should take Immediate and concrete steps to reduce the losses of MTNL and BSNL (UNI)