Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said that it is his mission to make Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) "one of the top companies of India".
"BSNL is a strategic asset for the country. When I am standing in Tamil Nadu, I need to recall that when Chennai was suffering huge floods, ultimately who came to the rescue... BSNL. When there was great earthquake in Nepal, Indians were stranded there, who gave free service? BSNL," Mr Prasad said at an event in Chennai.
"The BSNL is not a mobile company or a telephone company. It is a part of a strategic asset of India. When I was Minister of Communication in 2014, my priority was to bring BSNL to operating profit. I brought it... It is my mission to make BSNL one of the top companies of India. All of you have to work with me. I am very clear about it," he added.
The Union Minister highlighted that a "very robust VRS package" has been given to about 78,000 employees of the BSNL and about 15,000 MTNL employees. It is one of the best-ever package given to the PSU employees in the history of India, he said.
Mr Prasad on Thursday flagged off a ship at Chennai, which will start the work of laying undersea internet cable between Chennai and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Work of laying more than 2,300 km of undersea cable is funded by the Department of Telecom and executed by BSNL, Mr Prasad tweeted.
He further shared that the work of laying undersea internet cables between Chennai and Port Blair will be completed by June 2020. "It will provide high-speed Internet connectivity to entire cluster of islands in Andaman and Nicobar," Mr Prasad said.