New Delhi. The Central Government has decided to make a big investment to improve the condition of public sector communication company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and make it compete with the new communication sector. In the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, a package of Rs 1,64, 000 crore has been approved for the revival of BSNL.
There are three parts to the package. The first is related to improving services, while the second is related to strengthening the books of account and the third is related to expansion of fiber network. Giving information about the decision taken in the cabinet meeting, Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnav said that the government will allot spectrum to BSNL to offer 4G services. He said that Rs 33,000 crore dues of BSNL will be converted into equity. Also, the company will issue bonds to pay off bank loans of the same amount.
Ashwini Vaishnav said that the cabinet has also approved the merger of BSNL and Bharat Broadband Network Limited ie BBNL. He informed that CAPEX has been approved for the upgradation of the company network, Indian equipment will be used for the upgradation. Vaishnav said that the cabinet will provide 4G mobile service in such villages of the country, where this service has not yet reached, through Universal Service Obligation Fund at an estimated cost of Rs 26,316 crore.
Responding to a question about the ongoing 5G spectrum auction in the country, Vaishnav said that on the second day of 5G spectrum auction, i.e. Wednesday, bids worth Rs 1.49 lakh crore have been received. He said that the ninth round of bidding is going on. The government had received bids worth Rs 1.45 lakh crore after the completion of the fourth round of spectrum bidding on Tuesday, the first day of the auction.