Shri Manoj Sinha, Communications Minister in reply to a question in Parliament stated on 6th April 2018 that
‘At present, there is no proposal for merger of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL)’.
The proposal was there earlier, but the government was compelled to shelve it since the unions took a strong stand that before merger, that the huge loss of MTNL should be written off and that the more than 46% share sold by MTNL should be bought back. If that is accepted by the government, both BSNL and MTNL will be benfitted. The government does not want to accept the unions’ proposal, since it will strengthen both BSNL and MTNL, which it does not want.
Failing the merger proposal, Government is on the move to divide BSNL by bifurcating Tower business, to destroy BSNL. The entire unions are against the formation of a separate company. They are on struggle against formation of Tower Company since it is the end of BSNL. Through sustained struggles, Unions are on the move to defeat the bifurcation proposal of the government.
Privatisation / closure of BSNL is not only against the interest of the workers, but also against the best interests of the more than 110 crore mobile/ telephone subscribers. The tariffs of the private companies are less, only because BSNL/MTNL are there. Once they are finished, the tariffs will go high as much as twenty times, as in international level. Hence as long as BSNL exists, it is beneficial for the entire country. Once it is not there, subscribers will be at the mercy of the corporates, as is the case with the diesel and petrol prices now. The prices will go far beyond the international prices to recover the present losses to the telecom companies. It is the responsibility of the workers that this truth is communicated to the people.