The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi approved the proposal of hiving about 65000 towers of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) into a new company on 5 August 2015.
This will help BSNL to realign its structure in the highly competitive telecom sector. It will also help the public sector company to unlock its tower assets and improve its financial position.
The Telecom Department will constitute an inter-ministerial group for working out capital structure and organizational structure of the new company.
Apart from this, the Union Cabinet also cleared financial assistance of 627 crore rupees to BSNL and MTNL for surrendering 800 MHz telecom spectrum in some circles.
The Cabinet decision to separate the tower assets was prompted by BSNL’s inability to make much headway in generating revenue from sharing the assets with other telecom service providers.
BSNL mobile tower assets consist of about 64500 towers and more than 50000 tower sites have optical fibre cable connectivity. The company expects valuation of its mobile tower company to be to the tune of 20000 crore rupees.
Other decisions taken during the Cabinet meet includes
• Nod for providing one rank one pension facility for retired High Court judges. It also cleared amendments to arbitration law for faster disposal of commercial disputes.
• Nod to a proposal to sign an agreement with UNESCO for establishment of a Centre for World Natural Heritage Management and Training for Asia-Pacific region at the Wildlife Institute of India in Dehradun as a category-2 centre of the UN body.
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Where: New Delhi
When: 5 August 2015