New DoT secy will look into BSNL-MTNL merger plan

New Delhi, March 23 | Updated: Mar 24 2005, 05:30am hrs
Department of telecommunications (DoT) today held a meeting with the chairman and managing directors (CMDs) of MTNL and BSNL to discuss the report of the advisors to the synergisation process of the two PSUs. However, a decision on the synergisation of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) will be taken only once the new secretary of the DoT takes charge in April.

Today at the meeting, the current DoT secretary Nripendra Misra revisited the report made by ICICI-Securities (I-Sec) with the CMDs of BSNL and MTNL.

In the meeting today, we revisted the recommendations made and it was decided that the recommendations would be taken up by the new secretary who would join beginning April, Mr Misra said.

MTNL chairman and managing director RSP Sinha said, The matter is still open and the new secretary will be briefed on this. MTNL earlier had made statements to the press that it was against the option of making MTNL a subsidiary of BSNL.

Mr Sinha of MTNL had earlier said, MTNL as a subsidiary of BSNL is just not justified. If both the entities are retained as two separate entities then the purpose of synergisation will be lost out. Of all the options laid down by the banker, we are in favour of a merger.

While BSNLs chairman and managing director AK Sinha had indicated that: Experts along with the government will decide whatever is best for us. It will not be appropriate for me to comment, right now.

I-Sec, which submitted its first report to the DoT last month, is believed to have suggested making MTNL a subsidiary of BSNL with the former retaining an independent board.

The consultant, I-Sec, has given first part of the report to the DoT and other than making MTNL a subsidiary of BSNL the consultant has also suggested making BSNL a subsidiary of MTNL and merging the operations of both PSUs.