The Finance Ministry has joined hands with the Communication Ministry in the disposal of BSNL and MTNL assets. This is in response to a communication from Telecom Secretary Neeraj Mittal, who has written to all the Central Ministries and Departments, along with State governments.

In a written response in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State in the Communication Ministry, Devusingh Chauhan, said the value of BSNL and MTNL’s assets is over ₹1.26 lakh-crore and ₹12,000 crore, respectively, as on March 31, 2022. BSNL and MTNL own approximately 10,568 acres and 334.36 acres, respectively, the response added.

“BSNL has an asset base spread across the country and MTNL has properties in Delhi and Mumbai. Most of the properties are offered through outright sale to Government Departments/PUSs/Government Organisations,” Mittal said in a letter. Further, BSNL has developed a dedicated website: The website contains the list of properties of BSNL/MTCL available for outright sale in various parts of the country.

It also said vacant building spaces are offered for rent in premises situated at prime locations all over India. The spaces are ideally suited for banks, institutions, autonomous bodies, etc. Monetisation is being done through MSTC’s online platform. Meanwhile, there is no indication that Ministries and Departments will get any discount, and every deal will be at market price. Still, the thinking is that a transparent and direct deal would help all.

The government has taken several steps for the revival of BSNL and MTNL. Last June, as part of the revival strategy, the Union Cabinet approved the third revival package for BSNL with a total outlay of ₹89,047 crore. It includes allotment of 4G/5G spectrum for BSNL through equity infusion. BSNL’s authorised capital will be increased to ₹2.10-lakh crore from ₹1.50-lakh crore. With this revival package, BSNL will emerge as a stable telecom service provider focused on providing connectivity to the remotest parts of India.

In 2019, the first revival package amounted to around ₹69,000 crore that brought down the operating costs of BSNL/MTNL. In 2022, the government approved the second revival package for BSNL/MTNL amounting to ₹1.64 lakh crore. It focused on infusing fresh capital, restructuring debt, viability gap funding for rural telephony, etc. It provided financial support for capex, viability gap funding for rural landlines, financial support for de-stressing the balance sheet, and settlement of AGR dues, merger of BBNL with BSNL, etc. The packages helped to lower BSNL’s total debt to ₹22,289 crore from ₹32,944 crore.

The government claims that as a result of these packages, BSNL/MTNL started earning operating profits from FY2020-21. BSNL/MTNL are rolling out an indigenously developed 4G telecom stack. The equipment is upgradable to 5G. As part of the revival strategy, BSNL/MTNL are focusing on home fibre connections. More than 34 lakh home fibre connections have been provided as on date.

As on March 31, 2023, BSNL and MTNL had a total of 58,277 and 3,397 employees, respectively.