Kochi: The government is planning to provide financial package to cash-strapped Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said on Monday.
The Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises said the government wants that BSNL should be promoted and it is the "top priority".
"BSNL is requiring some package from the government. We want that BSNL should be promoted. That is the top priority of the government. On the top priority, we want that BSNL should work properly. So, we are also thinking for the package. You will find in future that we will provide some packages to BSNL," Meghwal told a press conference here on 100 days of the NDA government at the Centre.
He said the proposal for the package submitted by the BSNL authorities is under the consideration of the finance ministry.
Meghwal said the BSNL was hit by problems in 1995 but now the government wanted to promote the telecom company.
"It is not the issue of closure. It was in 1995," he said in response to queries regarding the issues in BSNL.
The minister's statement comes amidst reports that distressed telecom PSUs - Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) and BSNL - have been incurring losses and facing problems in clearing staff salaries in recent past.
He said the government has discussed the issues in BSNL and MTNL with the top authorities of the telecom companies.
Meghwal said the government was working on the issue of merger of BSNL and MTNL, but some unions and associations wanted to keep them as two separate entities.
Responding to a query on economic slowdown in the country, Meghwal, who is also the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, said Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javaekekar has clearly stated that it is a temporary phase.
The minister said the Modi government has committed itself to make India a five trillion dollar economy.
He also said the government was in the process of fulfilling promises made in the manifesto.
Meghwal also highlighted the steps taken by the government such as merger of public sector banks, and additional credit expansion through public sector banks.
The minister also said that the government took path- breaking decisions on Jammu and Kashmir.
In a historic step, the government removed special provisions under Article 370 to Jammu and Kashmir, and Article 35 A of the Constitution was abrogated.
"Initiatives are being taken for betterment of socio-economic infrastructure in the state," he said.