BSNL's Chairman and Managing Director PK Purwar took additional charge of MTNL, the state-owned telco said yesterday in a BSE filing. ET Telecom first reported the move on 14 April. Purwar's appointment seems to be a step towards the eventual merger of MTNL and BSNL, announced in October 2019. This isn't Purwar's first time heading MTNL — he was appointed thrice as the telco's CMD in a temporary basis in 2014, 2016, and 2017. Purwar was appointed for a five year term in 2017, but gave up the post in 2019 after being appointed as BSNL's CMD. Telecom infrastructure association TAIPA wrote to Purwar on 11 April asking that the state-owned telcos' dues to tower companies be paid immediately. The nod for a BSNL–MTNL merger follows a 2017 parliamentary report that recommended it as a way for the struggling state-owned telcos to survive the onslaught of competition that they're unable to weather. Especially since Jio's entry in 2016, the state-owned telcos have been struggling, especially as they were already in a weaker financial position than Vodafone, Idea and Airtel at the time of Jio's entry. (Read our summary of the parliamentary report.) Four steps for MTNL-BSNL revival The union cabinet has provided a four-way revival plan for BSNL and MTNL. Allotment of 4G spectrum: The government has approved the administrative allotment of 4G spectrum services to BSNL and MTLNL which will enable them to provide broadband and other data services. It will be funded by the central government by capital infusion of Rs 20,000 Crores. The centre…
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