New Delhi - The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) announced what it called a "strategic plan" to bring synergy among seven telecom public sector units (PSUs) under it to ensure their effective functioning.
According to the DoT, all the PSUs and organisations under it will be able to work together in synergy and address various business opportunities arising in the country following the recommendations incorporated in the plan.
The plan covers Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL), Indian Telephone Industries Limited (ITI), Centre for Development of Telematics (CDOT), Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL), Testing and Certification of Telecom Equipments (TEC) and BharatNet (BBNL).
The recommendations of the strategic plan -- the work on which began in January 2016 -- included effective utilisation of human resource through training, optimal utilisation of vacant spaces in lands and buildings and promoting "Make in India" by taking advantage of preferential market access government policy, a DoT statement said.
In addition, the PSUs will refrain from filing legal cases against each another, and if required, the DoT will intervene to resolve disputes, it added.
"We have moved beyond just words in this initiative (synergy). We have identified specific areas that our teams will work upon -- training of manpower, settlement of legal issues, and utilisation of vacant spaces -- in order to demonstrate the true value of synergy," Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said.
"I am pleased to see the focus on clearly defined timelines and performance indicators. These should lend our efforts a sense of purpose, and also aid in effective monitoring of the progress that the teams are making," he said.
Sinha said it was critical that tangible and substantive progress was made towards this initiative in six months.
"I assume the review mechanisms set up by DoT will keep all our plans on track, in terms of timelines as well as quality of outcomes," he added.
To take the initiative further, the telecom PSUs exchanged a couple of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) between various PSUs under the strategic plan, like the MoU between ITI and TCIL for use of manufacturing capacity of optical fibre cables of Tamilnadu Telecommunications Limited (TTL).
Others included s MoU among TCIL, ITI and C-DoT for export of products and services to foreign markets, and between MTNL, ITI and C-DoT for delivery of Internet of Things and smart city projects.
Meanwhile, telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said the government has no plans to merge the two state-run telecom companies Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) at present.
The minister said the government has not considered the merger of the two entities but was working to ensure that collaboration between the two PSUs strengthens and benefits both the organisations.
Referring to Sinha's remark, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said: "The idea is to bring the two organisations together, but whether it will actually be a merger that is not under consideration at the moment."