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MTNL, the telecom PSU providing services in the metropolitan cities of Delhi and Mumbai, has posted a loss of Rs. 1,985.93 crore for the financial year 2012-13. This is more than the loss posted in 2011-12, which was Rs. 1,236.99 crore. MTNL is in loss for the last four years.

BSNL management has stated that the loss is due to the increased salary expenses of the employees. The employee expenses increased from Rs.1,236.99 last year to Rs. 1,927.33 crore this year. But this argument is faulty since it is normal for the salary increase in every year due to increments, pension contribution paid to the government etc. How can any management think that salary will not increase.

The real issue is that the revenue has not increased. It is the responsibility of the management to ensure that the business improves as also the revenue. The management has utterly failed in this and hence the loss. Further the government has been squeezing the company by imposing high charges for spectrum and increased contribution to pension by taking the maximum of the pay scale for calculation of the pension contribution to the government. Further the arrears to be collected are huge and probably a good amount will be due from the Central and State governments.

Whatever are the reasons for the loss, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that the PSU is supported financially for its revival. Of course, the workers have got a major role for improving the services to the people.