Kapil Sibal, Communictions Minister has stated that a New Telecom Policy is going to be framed. He also stated that the spectrum will be delinked from the licences. He also stated that charges will be levied for the additional spectrum allotted to companies including BSNL.
Each Telecom Policy has been framed suit the requirement of the big business and MNCs. First telecom policy gave licences for private companies as also gave them the mobile licence first, ignoring DOT (BSNL was not formed at that time) and MTNL. According to the same policy Licence Fee was charged from the private operators, but on the pressure from them it was changed to revenue sharing resulting in a loss of about Rs. 50,000 crores to Government.
While introducing the second New Telecom Policy (NEP 1999), DOT services were privatised and BSNL was formed with the intention of disinvesting and later privatising it. BSNL and MTNL, the PSUs, were very much discriminated in all respects. Government wanted disinvestment, introduction of VRS etc. in BSNL, but it could not be implemented, only because of the strong opposition from the Joint Action Committee of BSNL. The Government has extracted more about Rs. 40,000 crores from BSNL towards dividend, taxes, licence fee etc., almost finishing the reserve money of the company. They insisted that BSNL pay maximum, almost double of what private companies have paid. Government lost more than 1.76 lakh crores in the 2G spectrum scam.
We do not know what are the major policy directions of the New Telecom Policy. We have to wait and watch and be ready for sustained struggles in case it is against BSNL and its workers.