New Delhi: Government today blamed the previous UPA government for the poor financial condition of state-run BSNL saying its losses now stand at Rs 8,000 crore even though it had profits to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore in 2004 when the Congress-led coalition took power.
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in Lok Sabha during Question Hour that he would like to have a debate on the status of the telecom company with Congress as to what had happened to BSNL in last 10 years that it went into losses.
"I want to ask them why the condition of BSNL has gone down. What happened in last 10 years when they were in power," he asked, pointing to the Congress members who were protesting in the House demanding action on the Lalit Modi controversy.
He said the government is making all out efforts for the improvement of BSNL by taking various steps in this regard. Prasad said BSNL is the only telecom service provider in the country which offers free roaming service.
With rapid technological advancement in the telecom sector in the last decade, the telecom PSUs have attempted to keep pace with the change, the Minister said.
He said Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) Limited has informed that they are manufacturing products in advanced broadband and optical network infrastructure technologies like Gagabit Passive Optical Network and Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing through transfer of technologies from indigenous and global vendors.
In addition, it also takes up network infrastructure projects along with technology partners while using its resources for project management, Prasad said.
BSNL, MTNL are providers of telecom services and necessary equipment for advanced broadband and optical fibre network infrastructure, as per requirement, are procured through open tender process from time to time, he said.
Besides, the telecom PSUs, government has endeavoured to promote domestic manufacturing through a number of measures including incentive based measures such as the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme, Electronic Manufacturing Clusters and Electronic Development Fund as well as prescriptive measures such as preferential market access in government procurements, Prasad said.