Mumbai: Communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday said state-run telecom firm MTNL, which is running into losses, is likely to turn profitable in the next fiscal year.
BSNL, the other state-owned telecom service provider, has already reversed its loss making trend by reporting operating profit of Rs 672 crore in 2014-15.
"MTNL was in loss of Rs 2,900 crore loss in 2014. Today, their operating loss has come down from 140 crore to 70 crore in one year time," Mr Prasad told reporters here.
"They (MTNL) have promised me that in fiscal 2016-17 like BSNL they will also come into operating profits," he added.
According to Mr Prasad, MTNL plans to install about 6,000 cameras at 1,800 locations in Mumbai under the police city surveillance scheme.
The firm also proposes to provide hi-speed broadband to 1 lakh homes in Mumbai.
BSNL operates on pan-India basis, barring Delhi and Mumbai, where the other state-owned firm MTNL provides telecom services.
Mr Prasad noted that BSNL had recorded loss of Rs 8,000 crore at the time he took over as the minister.
"But, today in five years BSNL has recorded operating profits of Rs 672 crore this year. BSNL revenue has risen by 4.1 per cent," he said.
Mr Prasad also noted that BSNL was adding 15-16 lakh mobile customers every month, an increase from 6-7 lakh customers it was getting till March-April 2015.
On the issue of call drops, the minister said he appreciated the mobile companies for spreading mobile services across the country.
However, he noted that it was the responsibility of the companies to also provide good quality services including maintenance and infrastructure.
"For the service to be good the government has to sometimes take a tough stand for all telecom operators including BSNL and MTNL," Mr Prasad said.
"They (mobile firms) have done some good work they need to do more," he added.
He also noted that his government is pushing electronic manufacturing in big way.
"About Rs 11,700 crore investments proposal were there when I became minister in June 2014 but till December-end about Rs 1.18 lakh crore have been invested in the sector," Mr Prasad said.