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PMO approves allocation of 4G airwaves to BSNL, MTNL; merger put on hold

August 26, 2019
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In a meeting held recently, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has approved the allocation of 4G airwaves to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) to revive the two state-run operators. The allocation of 4G spectrum to the two operators will be treated as 100 per cent capital infusion by the government.

However, the PMO has decided to drop the proposal to merge the two operators as well as the proposal to create a special purpose vehicle for land monetisation and transfer of BSNL’s loans.

Further, the PMO has decided that the two operators will frame a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) to reduce their employee strength, which will be followed by a reduction in the retirement age to 58 years.

Moreover, the proposal for monetisation of BSNL’s land assets and telecom infrastructure has been approved. The monetisation will be monitored by a joint committee comprising BSNL officials, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM).

These proposals will now be taken to the Union Cabinet for approval.

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