MTNL to offer VRS to about 20,000 employees

The telecom PSU has also approached the government for surrendering its broadband wireless access licence for which it paid Rs4,600 crore

Mumbai: State-owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), which provides telecom services in Delhi and Mumbai regions, will offer voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) to about 20,000 employees, as part of its efforts to turn profitable, reports PTI.

The telecom PSU has also approached the government for surrendering its broadband wireless access (BWA) licence for which it paid Rs4,600 crore, MTNL Chairman and Managing Director AK Garg said.

"Turnaround takes slightly longer time but we have some items on our mind and working on those items. Number one is improving our revenue services ... We have already written a letter to the government asking for surrendering of BWA licence, we want that money back," Garg said here.

"For BWA licence, we have paid Rs4,600 crore. Even if we don't get interest, at least that much we can expect. We have planned VRS to about 19,000-20,000 people. The outgo should be some Rs2,000-Rs3,000 crore. There are many issues like staff pension issues. But issues are known and few," he said.

The company plans to restructure its loan book through funding which it will get through sale of assets.
"Whatever amount we get the entire amount will be utilised to repay the loan. Interest wise we will become positive. Now we pay almost Rs100 crore a month. We want to be a debt free company, like we were earlier," Mr Garg said but did not divulge the debt size in the books.

MTNL had suffered a loss of Rs929.7 crore for the quarter ended December, 2011.

On expansion plans, he said the company has floated a tender for 2G and 3G expansion in Mumbai and Delhi and it expects to open that in two months.

"We should spend close to Rs200 crore on this for improvement of wireless network. We will be using ADSL broadband for indoor network for 2G and 3G coverage also ... I expect these products to start coming from December."

He further said that some of the company's products would become obsolete by 2017. "We are also talking about reframing ... Some of the equipment will become redundant and new equipment will be required especially in 900 band," he said.




5 years ago

I think this is a very positive development. MTNL has a position envied by many where they have reach into almost all commercial and residential customers through their landline business. It was just a matter of having management (and political) will power to turn it around.

Looks like the tide has eventually changed for the better. Let's hope for the best!

Contempt notice to Centre for failure to fill CIC vacancies

The PIL had sought filling of posts of Information Commissioners and subordinate staff, including secretarial staff, in a time-bound manner

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the Centre's stand on a plea to begin contempt proceedings against it for its failure to comply with a court order to fill all the vacant posts of information commissioners in the Central Information Commission (CIC), reports PTI.

Issuing notice to the secretary, Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on the plea by a tranparency activist RK Jain, Justice Vipin Sanghi asked the official to file a status report by 30th July, the next date of hearing.

Mr Jain's contempt petition, filed through advocates Prashant Bhushan and Pranav Sachdeva, accused the government of not complying with the court's 15th February and 20th March orders to fill up CIC vacancies.

Mr Jain's petition said despite mounting backlog of cases and high court orders, the Centre till March was able to fill only three of the five posts, which fell vacant out of a total 10 posts of Information Commissioners (ICs) in the CIC.

The remaining two posts were to be filled immediately, as per directions of the high court so that the RTI panel's work would not suffer but nothing has been done, the petition said.

Another commissioner is due to retire in July and the number of vacant posts will become three, the petitioner said.

While hearing the PIL earlier, the Court had directed the Centre to fill all the ICs' posts after it told the court that it had filled up three out of the five vacant posts and sought more time for framing of recruitment rules for appointment of subordinate staff in the CIC.

Though the court granted it a month's extension for framing the rules, it emphasized that the remaining two posts of IC be filled up immediately.

The petition said "despite two letters written by the Central Information Commissioner (CIC) to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the panel is not complete with total number of commissioners."

The PIL had sought filling of posts of ICs and subordinate staff, including secretarial staff, in a time-bound manner.


Public Interest Exclusive
Unauthorised construction at Mayawati’s official bungalows in Delhi

Bahujan Samajwadi Party president Mayawati has made unauthorised constructions to her four bungalows in New Delhi, as per information sourced by Delhi based activist Subhash Agrawal. While the CPWD had ordered her to stop the unauthorised construction, no action has been taken against her

Information disclosed by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) reveals that Mayawati, president of the Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) and her Bahujan Prerna Trust had made unauthorised constructions to her four bungalows-number 4, 12, 14, 16 allotted to her on the Gurdwara Rakabganj Road (GRG) in New Delhi.

The information was furnished in response to a Right to Information (RTI) application by Delhi-based activist Subhash Agrawal who sought details of unauthorised construction done by Mayawati to the official bungalow allotted to her. He also sought list of other parliamentarians indulging in similar acts.

According to the RTI reply, dated 2 May 2012, for the bungalow No 4 on GRG, allotted to BSP national president, the unauthorised construction include raising of a compound wall, and main gate on the back side along with construction of three to four rooms and compound wall around the park at the rear side of the bungalow. The total area covered by these constructions stands to 145 sq m and it is a temporary construction.

For bungalow No 14, allotted to Mayawati as BSP president, the total space taken for unauthorised construction is 197.4 sq m. This includes construction of a verandah in entire width of the bungalow in the rear side and four rooms at the side of the bungalow.

 Similarly, for bungalow No 12 on GRG, unauthorised construction of rooms, office, toilet, kitchen along with fibre sheet, covering area of 238 sq m has been added. This bungalow is allotted to the chairman, managing trustee of Bahujan Prerna Trust. For bungalow No 16 allotted to the president of BSP, the unauthorised construction includes rooms with AC sheets and a toilet, AC steel shed along with three other rooms and a bathroom. The total covered measures to 300.86 sq m. In addition, there is a temporary unauthorised construction of tin sheets made of steel and metal, covering 180.5 sq m in the same bungalow.

The RTI reply from the CPWD also disclosed a letter dated 6 February 2012, written by the department to Mayawati requesting her to stop the illegal construction and demolish the unauthorised construction.

This disclosure comes at a time when a RTI query, reported in The Times of India, revealed that the BSP supremo, during her tenure as CM, had spent over Rs86 crore of public money to renovate her 13 Mall Avenue bungalow, which was entitled to her as CM.

Meanwhile, the list of parliamentarians who indulged in unauthorised construction includes, Sushma Swaraj, Ahmed Patel, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Suresh Kalmadi, D Venugopal, Raj Babbar, Sanjay Nirupam and Naveen Jindal. Interestingly, it also includes name of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) state office which illegal constructed additional room and an office, among others in front of the bungalow.




5 years ago

Please don't blame and accuse her as she has already played her caste card to ward off any allegation against her. Charging her tantamount to caste discrimination.


5 years ago

Then, who in her regime other than herself is responsible? Is the UPA awaiting Presidential election to take a final call on the allegations against her? Does the govt have the courage to proceed against this blatant loot and plunder? What has income tax deptt been doing when one with nothing rose to become a billionaire? Why should her cases should not be investigated whereas a deemed university in Chennai is dishonestly and illegally slapped with a demand of 20 crores with commissioners demanding 5 crores from the univ. (which enjoys exemption granted by CBDT) over phone as bribe and nothing can be done? What is CBI or IT vig. doing? Why a CM or a politician must be above law?


5 years ago

and, Why does Miss Mayawati need 4 posh govt bungalows in New Delhi?

Why should taxpayers - you and me - be paying for this?


5 years ago

Congratulatins for the courage of conviction of Moneylife. A job that oight to have been taken up by organisations like Transparency International India (with highly paid execs), the all powerful IAC of Kejriwal, and other self-styled anti-corruptionists is being waged relentlessly by this magazine. Publishing annual Corruption Index or helping PSUs with a toothless Integrity Pact nobody cares for in a "contractor raj", or holding massive rallies for weeks at end do not end corruption. Rather these allow the rulers, including all political parties and entirely corrupt bureaucrats to perpetuate their permanency in plundering the country, inter alia with bogus and moneymaking NGOs purportedly working for the poor!

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