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After 9 years, BSNL to make first net profit by 2018: RS Prasad

BSNL’s income from services grew 4.16% to 27,242 crore in 2014-15, the highest in the last five years.

business Updated: Nov 27, 2015 01:27 IST
BHarat Sanchar Nigam Limited,BSNL,Ravi Shankar Prasad
Union telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad (PTI FIle Photo)

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is back on track for recovery with Rs 672-crore operating profit in 2014-15, and is likely to report the first net profit in the last nine years within 2018, communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told HT.

The company’s income from services grew 4.16% to 27,242 crore in 2014-15, the highest in the last five years.

Administrative expenses are also on the decline in 2014-15.

“BSNL was a Rs 10,000-crore profit-making unit when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister and when we took charge, it was making a loss of Rs 8,000 crore... something went wrong, we will correct it in next three years,” Prasad said.

The company has registered an impressive growth in mobile connections in recent months — It went up from 900,000 in May this year to 1.6 million in July. It has also adopted mobile number portability (MNP) from July 2015, and has since then added 1,57,564 subscribers.

“We are confident of achieving the target of becoming cash positive by 2018 and all 225,000 employees are committed to achieving this,” BSNL CMD Anupam Shrivastava said.

Shrivastava, who spoke to union leaders on Wednesday, urged them to participate in the revival of the company.

BSNL will also form a separate infrastructure company for tower business with 64,500 towers, and is looking to earn Rs 2,200-crore revenue in the next 2-4 year.

Additionally, it also plans to monetise its land assets. “It may generate about Rs 2,500 crore revenue for BSNL,” Shrivastava said.

The telecom major also plans to enhance its revenue from Wi-Fi services. The company has installed 450 hotspots in 24 tourists destinations. Besides, it plans to allow subscribers of other telcos to use the Wi-Fi, with initial 10-15 minutes of free connectivity and then making it chargeable.

First Published: Nov 27, 2015 00:56 IST