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Telcos against preference to MTNL, BSNL in government business

Tuesday, 14 January 2014 - 12:08pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Panicked telecom operators have shot a letter to the Department of Telecom (DoT) asking it not to give undue benefits to state-owned telcos Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) by mandating all government employees to use only their connections.

“We once again re-iterate that any such move would be arbitrary, incorrect and unjustified and would be anti-competitive and against all principles of level playing fields,” Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said in its letter to the DoT dated January 10.

“It would be violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India against various judgments of TDSAT where BSNL/MTNL have been directed to be treated equally with the other private operators,” it said.

The government last year proposed that ministries and PSUs gave preference to BSNL and MTNL in a bid to enhance their revenues.

The GSM operators’ association had sent a letter on November 29 as well and had argued upon a level playing field.

“...with the aim to provide fair choice to the customers and to ensure fair competition and level playing field, the private operators should be given the same opportunity as the PSUs ...”

Both the state-owned telcom firms have been running in huge losses for the last few years.

BSNL reported a loss of Rs7,884 crore in 2012-13 while MTNL loss stood at Rs5,321 crore during the same period.

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