Modi Govt Begins Asset Sell of BSNL and MTNL

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Modi government has begun the process of asset sell of state owned telecom companies – BSNL and MTNL. In a definite first step, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has appointed consultancy firms CBRE, JLL, and Knight Frank to look at the feasibility of such a sell during the pandemic.

The consultation firms are expected to submit their reports by the end of this month.  The asset monetisation of BSNL and MTNL, estimated to fetch around Rs 37,500 crore, was discussed at a meeting in the Prime Minister’s Office. The amount is aimed to generate revenue which would help the telecom companies to pay salary to its employees.

While the government is planning to use the money out of the sell to regulate the state owned telcos, which have been undergoing hefty losses, it would be to be seen how government goes for the sell of the land, as most of the landholdings by BSNL was acquired over from local municipal corporations earlier with an aim of building exchanges for the purpose of increasing rural coverage.

If these land are to be sold, it would require making change in the purpose for which they were aquired and the local bodies may object to the sell and may ask that it be given back to them

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