www.WirelessFederation.com/news: Proposal to divest 30% stake of state owned Indian telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) by the operator has been approved by the Indian government. The decision has come after a committee headed by advisor to the prime minister on infrastructure, Sam Pitroda suggested equity sale.
BSNL has also decided that the recommendation of the committee to cut the strength of 300,000 staff the telco currently employs by third. In addition, 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.
According to a BSNL official, 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.
Approval from the Union cabinet is required by BSNL board on the stake sale. A request has also been made by the company from the state to cover the cost of the retirement scheme.
Quick response has come from BSNL employee unions which has condemned the proposals making clear that both the equity sale and staff reduction plans will be opposed through demonstrations planned across India.