New Delhi: MTNL's sustainability as a "viable operator" is important both for customers and market, and the PSU has not lost its relevance even in the intensely-competitive telecom sector, the company's Chairman and Managing Director PK Purwar has said.
The comment assumes significance as loss-making telecom PSUs MTNL and BSNL are saddled with massive debt and have faced problems in clearing staff salaries in the recent past.
A revival package is being worked out by the government to keep the two PSUs afloat, amid cut-throat competition in the telecom sector driven by Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea.
"Even today, MTNL has over 50 per cent market share in landline for Delhi and Mumbai (circles), we also have a substantial market share in broadband. When it comes to mobile services segment, we have a lesser market share but customer is still looking for services of MTNL," Purwar told PTI.
He asserted that both from customer and market point of view, MTNL's sustainability as a viable operator is required.
"So, still MTNL is very much relevant for the telecom sector and we expect that the steps that are being taken by the government, will lead to revival of MTNL," he said.
Purwar claimed that at a time when private sector players are "surviving on the strength of their promoters", the government, as promoter of telecom PSUs, too needs to extend support to keep the state-owned corporations viable and competitive.
"Private sector players are surviving on the strength of their promoters...so PSUs should not be discriminated... Government has two roles, government as a sovereign authority and government as owner of a company... As the owner, they have to infuse capital, if the private sector promoters are doing the same to keep their companies competitive," he pointed out.
The telecom department has prepared a rescue plan for MTNL and BSNL in form of a revival package that entails components like Voluntary Retirement Scheme, asset monetisation, and allocation of 4G spectrum. The revival plan is expected to be taken up by the Cabinet soon, according to sources.Â