According to a parliamentary panel, no significant headway has been achieved so far on monetisation of assets of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL). 

In its report, the Standing Committee on Communications and IT has emphasised its earlier recommendation that the matter of reservation/designation of land must be taken up at the highest level of government for policy intervention so as to address the issue at the earliest and expedite the monetisation of assets of both the telcos. The report is on the action taken by the government on the observations/recommendations of the panel contained in an earlier report on ‘Demand for Grants (2022-23)’ of the Ministry of Communications.

As per the panel, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has not furnished any reply on the present status to address the issue of reservation/deisgnation of land with the state governments which was hampering the monetisation prospects. The committee were given to understand that significant assets in Mumbai are having reservation and designation issues resulting in dropping of valuation of property due to unsustainable conditions and this will not be possible without tweaking the policy. 

Further, the panel emphasised that necessary measures be taken by the DoT for successful rollout of 4G services by BSNL. It added that DoT has not furnished reply to the recommendation of the committee for allocation of 5G spectrum in all bands to BSNL. This is significant, considering the fact that BSNL has been denied a level playing field when compared to the private telecom service providers (TSPs) with regard to the rolling out of 4G services. It informed that the committee reiterate their earlier recommendation that BSNL should be allocated 5G spectrum in all bands and provide a level playing field with private TSPs with regard to purchase of equipment.