The Group of Ministers (GoM) on BSNL and MTNL is likely to hold its first meeting on May 10 to discuss ways to revive the two loss-making public sector telecom companies.

“The meeting is scheduled for May 10. The GoM will decide on the future of BSNL and MTNL. Its recommendations will go to the Cabinet for the final decision,” a government official told PTI.

The GoM is headed by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

It was constituted after Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh raised concerns over the future of the two PSUs.

He had said that due to change in business environment and hyper competition in the telecommunication business, the financial position of BSNL and MTNL had deteriorated in the past 3-4 years.

“Although the results for financial year 2012-13 have not yet been declared, I expect the net worth of MTNL would have been completely eroded. BSNL is expected to make loss in the range of Rs 10,000 crore in the current financial year,” he had said.

MTNL losses stood at Rs 4,018.44 crore at the end of financial year 2011-12.

Members of the GoM include the Telecom Minister, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office V. Narayanasamy.

(This article was published on May 5, 2013)
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