New Delhi : IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw told Parliament that both state-run telecom companies BSNL and MTNL were quite sound and healthy, but they lost their ground and worth during the erstwhile UPA dispensation between the period 2004 and 2014.
“Between 2004 and 2014, the kind of ‘atyachar (tortures/ill-treatment)’ suffered by these two companies was worse. Some people who are today in the opposition mistreated them,” Mr Vaishnaw said in Rajya Sabha during Question Hour.
“The way very systematically the UPA regime destroyed these companies, we can cite 10 companies,” the Minister said.
The companies went through a “bad phase” during the term of the Congress-led UPA government, and they were used as “cash cows”, he said.
He, however, maintained that in 2019 a package of Rs 70,000 crore was given to BSNL by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and “after that, the BSNL came in the stage of operating profit”.
In July this year, again, for “further revival” of the BSNL, Rs 1.64 lakh crore assistance was provided.
“The combined network of the BSNL and the BBNL is adding more than one lakh household connections every month,” the Minister said.
The BSNL will soon launch 4G and 5G networks designed, developed and made in the country as per PM Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, he said.
Mr Vaishnaw said people had to pay Rs 200 for every GB of data during the Congress regime, which has now come down to a mere Rs 20.
Replying to a question from Shiv Sena member Vinayak Raut on the rollout of optical fibre network in villages, the Minister said: “There are some states which opted to install optical fibre network instead of installing it through the means of BBNL. Maharashtra is one such state where the state government opted for this”.