‘Who were the ones who ruined BSNL?’, PM Modi targeted Congress; Know the whole story

By Sudhakar Yadav February 7, 2024 6:27 PM IST
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Photo:FILE BSNL

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (PM Modi) mentioned many PSU companies in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. Prominent among them are BSNL, MTNL, Air India and HAL. The PM was making a scathing attack on the Congress while replying to the motion of thanks on the President’s address in the Rajya Sabha. During this he said that BSNL-MTNL was ruined during the tenure of Congress. He said that today the condition of these companies has improved due to the efforts of the present government. Let us first know what the PM said today.

What did PM say?

PM said, ‘Congress said that we sold PSUs, drowned PSUs. Various things were said here and even senior people said so. Remember who were the ones who ruined BSNL-MTNL? Which was the period when BSNL-MTNL were ruined? Just remember HAL, what his plight was. By going to his gate and giving a speech, the agenda of contesting the 2019 elections was decided. Those who had destroyed HAL were making speeches at the gate of HAL. Respected Chairman, who destroyed Air India, who ruined it. Who brought this situation? Congress party and UPA cannot turn a blind eye to their 10 years of waste and now I want to tell about the success of our tenure.

The Prime Minister said, ‘Respected Chairman, the BSNL which he left in ruins, is today moving towards Made in India 4G, 5G and is attracting the attention of the world. Spread so much confusion for HAL. Today HAL is generating record revenue. Manufacturing records. And HAL is the largest helicopter manufacturing company in Asia. Today LIC shares are breaking records.

These are the 3 reasons for BSNL lagging behind

Let us now get to the bottom of what the Prime Minister said about the plight of BSNL-MTNL during the Congress rule. BSNL came in the year 2000. In the year 2000, the Government of India had 100 percent stake in BSNL. The company remained under the control of the Department of Telecommunications. After this, during the period from 2006 to 2012, a lot of bureaucracy was seen in this company. It used to take months to complete the tender process in BSNL. During this period the company’s market share declined and private players moved ahead. Due to not getting necessary government approvals on time, it lagged behind private operators. We all know that despite a large infrastructure, BSNL could not compete with private players. There are three main reasons behind BSNL’s lagging behind. Government interference, red tape and not participating in spectrum auction.

Did not participate in 3G spectrum auction

Due to network and many other problems, BSNL customers started getting worried and turned to private companies. After this, when 3G spectrum was auctioned in 2010, BSNL did not participate in it because it was a government company. Due to this, a large part of the customers the company had again went towards private companies.

Now the company is offering 4G services

Modi government had brought a revival package of Rs 70,000 crore for BSNL in the year 2019. After this, in the year 2022, the Union Cabinet had approved a package of Rs 1.64 lakh crore for the revival of BSNL-MTNL. The government had also decided to convert BSNL’s statutory dues of Rs 33,000 crore into equity. During the Modi government, it was decided that BSNL would be allotted spectrum to offer 4G services. However, there is a delay in launching BSNL’s 4G service. The company is currently providing 4G service in some areas only. Other customers of the company will also soon get TCS supported 4G network. The company can start its 4G service from April.

Sometimes one had to stand in long queue for SIM

BSNL’s mobile services were started on 19 October 2002. At that time one had to struggle a lot to get a BSNL SIM card. There used to be a 3-4 kilometer long queue to get a SIM. Within a short time it became the top telecom company of the country. At the same time, MTNL used to provide its services in Mumbai and Delhi.

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