BSNL to go public; trade unions may favour listing

New Delhi, May 30 | Updated: Jun 1 2008, 02:49am hrs
In a significant development, state-owned telecom giant Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) may go public and list at bourses with the trade unions likely to respond positively to the governments call in this regard.

BSNL, going by the estimates, has been valued at a whopping $100 billion (over Rs 400,000 crore) and dilution of just 10% equity may fetch over Rs 40,000 crore, which can be used by the PSU for expansion of services. According to an official statement, Unions will respond positively to suggestion for listing of BSNL before June 3, which will help BSNL in getting Navratna status which is very essential in order to maintain the image of BSNL and its survival and growth. The decision came after the representatives of trade unions met communication and IT minister A Raja here last evening and discussed various issues including merger of 50% dearness allowance. The meeting ended on a positive note with a collective decision on some issues which included 50% industrial dearness allowance (IDA) merger orders that will be issued by BSNL, the statement said.

The market valuation of the telecom giant is about $100 billion. The fund raised is likely to be used for expansion of network and services. The telecom firm would also issue 50% IDA mergers orders, the statement added. The unions were protesting against the BSNL management for not merging 50% of IDA with the basic pay, although the government had given its consent for this arrangement long back. It has finally been decided that no dharna or agitation would be demonstrated on these issues, it added.