India could shut down BSNL, MTNL

Dylan Bushell-Embling
16 Sep 2014

The Indian government is considering shutting down unprofitable state-owned companies including operators BSNL and MTNL.

India's cabinet secretary has convened a meeting with top officials to discuss what to do with the ten state companies generating the largest losses, including the two telcos, India Todaysaid.

Combined, the 10 companies had a net loss of around $4 billion dollars during the 2012/13 financial year, and BSNL and MTNL were big contributors to this.

Officials plan to explore a variety of potential options for the companies, including closures, joint ventures, capital infusions or bringing in new management.

Options specific to the telcos being considered include delisting MTNL and merging it with BSNL, or merging the two companies via a share swap deal, the Economic Times reported separately.

Various officials have been proposing merging BSNL and MTNL for years, but plans have stalled in part due to resistance from trade unions. In June, India's telecom ministry revealed it had revived the merger proposal and was also considering spinning off BSNL's tower assets into a separate company.

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