In the Central Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, they took several important decisions, including the increase in the support price of rabi crops. State-run telecom company MTNL will be merged with BSNL. MTNL will remain a subsidiary of BSNL till it completes the merger process.
They will allot both companies 4G spectrum. The government will bear the expenses of spectrum. It will give both the companies a capital of Rs 20,140 crore. The government will also bear the expenditure of Rs 3,674 crore GST on the spectrum. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that both companies will become competitive through 4G services. Both companies will raise Rs 15,000 crore through sovereign bonds.
Rs 29928 crore VRS scheme for employees
The government has also introduced an attractive VRS scheme for the employees of BSNL and MTNL. Employees 50 years or older will take advantage of this. An additional Rs 17,160 crore will be required for this scheme. 12,768 crore will be spent on other retirement responsibilities. Thus a total package of Rs 68,742 crore was announced for both the companies.
Why decide merger?
MTNL and BSNL have been in loss for a long time. Both companies have had problems in paying salaries of the employees many times in the past months. BSNL estimates a loss of about Rs 14,202 crore in 2018-19. There was a loss of Rs 7,993 crore in 2017-18. There was a loss of Rs 4,793 crore in 2016-17 and Rs 4,859 in 2015-16.
Increase in support price of 6 Rabi crops from 85 to 325 rupees
The cabinet also approved an increase in the support price (MSP) of the rabi crop. The MSP of wheat, the major crop, has risen by Rs 85 to Rs 1925 per quintal, up from Rs 1840 earlier. Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Hardeep Singh Puri briefed the decisions of the cabinet.
Other cabinet decisions
They will give 40 lakh people living in unauthorized colonies of Delhi the ownership rights, for this they will introduce the bill in the cold session of Parliament.
Non-oil companies will also be able to fuel retail business.