DISPELLING ALL fears of disinvestments, Union Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Shakeel Ahmad said that no privatization of the State-owned BSNL and MTNL would be done.
Ahmad also said that efforts were afoot for the inclusion of both the BSNL and the MTNL into the category of ‘Navratna’ companies. Ahmad was in the city to inaugurate a switching centre at Benajhabar Telephone exchange here today.
Justifying his point that no privatization would be done, the Minister said that serious deliberations were on to bestow the status of Navratna on both the BSNL and the MTNL.
Referring to traffic congestion, he assured Kanpurites that all the problems related to congestion in the BSNL network in the city would be done away with by March next year.
In addition to the existing 100 BTS in the city, 70 more would be installed by March next year, said the minister. “ By March, one lakh more telephone connections will be released in the city,” added the minister.
Hitting out at private telecom operators without naming any company, the minister said, “It was only when the BSNL cut down its traffic that private companies followed suit.”
Taking a dig at the lifetime incoming facility being offered by private telecom operators, the minister said, “The extent of deceit by private operators can be gauged by the fact that telecom companies having a license for only 10 years are promising lifetime incoming facility.”
Further praising BSNL, the minister added that a BSNL employee never deceives a customer and always provides genuine information.
Advocating use of broadband services offered by the BSNL, the minister stated that Internet could offer exhaustive information on any topic. He also exhorted parents to encourage their children to use Internet and Broadband services offered by the BSNL.
About the future plans of the company, the minister said that the ministry was planning to open Kiosk having internet, telephone and fax in rural areas of the country by investing a substantial amount.
Ahmad also left no stone unturned in praising the former prime minister Late Rajiv Gandhi. “All credit for ushering in telecom revolution in the country goes to Rajiv Gandhi,” stated Ahmad.
Narrating an incident, Ahmad stated that Rajiv Gandhi while he was the PM, once made a statement in Parliament, that in near future each Indian would carry a telephone in his pocket.
“The statement was then mocked by one of the senior most parliamentarian present in the Parliament,” added Ahmad.
The extent of growth in telecom sector can be gauged by the fact that in October last alone 62 lakh new telephone connections were issued, said the minister.
Those present on the occasion included Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal who exhorted the BSNL employees to brace themselves for a stiff competition from private operators.
“It’s an era of competition and the government can only ensure good diet, promotion and protection to the BSNL employees. But competition cannot be ruled out and employees must be prepared for it,” asserted Jaiswal. Chief General Manager of Lucknow division Om Veer Singh, General Manager (Kanpur) TN Shukla and Chief Post Master General Neelam Srivastava among others were also present on the occasion.