MTNL, BSNL suffered losses under Congress Govt: Telecom minister

Telecom and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday made a veiled attack on the erstwhile UPA government for the “losses” suffered by the government-run telecom companies BSNL and MTNL.

The minister also suggested that a detailed debate could be held on the subject in the house.

“I have lot to hear on the same. I also have to tell a lot,” Prasad told the Lok Sabha during question hour and alleged that both the companies suffered losses to the tune of Rs.10,000 crore in 2014 when the BJP-led NDA took office in May 2014.

He said that in 2004, when the Congress-led UPA came to power, BSNL was imaking profit of Rs.10,183 crore and MTNL Rs.900 crore.

However, “in 10 years” things changed, he said.

“When we took charge in 2014, the BSNL was suffering a loss of Rs.8,000 crore and MTNL Rs.2,000 crore. We are ready for a discussion in the house,” he said.

Ravi Shankar Prasad also asserted that both the organisations were trying their best to generate maximum revenues for revival.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed that we bring these on track,” he said, adding efforts were on to improve the functioning of both the government-run telecom companies.

Asa result of the efforts, he claimed, the BSNL’s income from services in 2014-15 increased by 4.16 percent over 2013-14 while the BSNL’s income in 2014-15 rose to Rs.27,242 crore as compared to Rs.26,153 crore in 2013-14.

“BSNL has earned an operating profit of Rs.672 crore in 2014-15. The operating profit is likely to be much higher during 2015-16 when figures come to us,” he said.

Referring to the MTNL, Ravi Shankar Prasad said its revenue for the quarter ended December 31, 2015, was Rs.865.52 crore, which was an increase of Rs.25.08 crore over the previous quarter.

Congress member K.C. Venugopal, however, said the MTNL and BSNL business loss was chiefly due to poor services and there were “frequent call drops”. IANS