World VoIP NewsBSNL board clears stake sale proposalBSNL board clears stake sale proposal

BSNL board clears stake sale proposal

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The board of state-owned Indian telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has cleared a proposal that could see the government divest 30% of its stake in the operator, the Business Standard reports.
The move falls in line with suggestions made by a committee headed by Sam Pitroda, advisor to the prime minister on infrastructure, which recommended the equity sale. In addition, it is understood that the BSNL board will also look to act on the recommendation that the 300,000 staff the telco currently employs be cut by a third, while it will also look to implement a contract-based appointment system for top management, separate positions for MD and CEO and will begin the formation of an advisory board. Unsurprisingly, BSNL employee UNI0Ns have swiftly condemned the proposals, and said they will oppose both the equity sale and staff reduction plans, with demonstrations planned across India.

According to a BSNL official cited by the news source the stake sale would take place in two to three stages, while with relation to staff reductions the telco will offer a voluntary retirement scheme to around 60,000 employees. The BSNL board will now need to gain approval from the UNI0N cabinet on the stake sale, while it has also requested financial aid from the state to cover the cost of the retirement scheme.

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