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Contract system mooted for BSNL Brass

Pitroda panel against communications ministry?s interference in BSNL?s day-to-day working To improve the performance of state-run telecom major BSNL, a committee headed by Sam Pitroda has recommended a contract-based system for all key management employees. Besides, it has advised that the communications ministry should not interfere in day-to-day decision making of the company. ?BSNL should have a three-year contract, with specific targets for all key management team members (around 30-50), with restricted stock options and related incentives, to deliver increasing profits and growth,? the committee said in its report. ?Allow the ministry to interact only through board representation and regular board meetings and not through day-to-day decision making, interfacing and supervision.? According to the committee, a person from the private sector should be appointed BSNL chairman, who would have a strategic vision and the stature to interface with the external environment. It also suggested separate posts for the managing director and chief executive officer, besides changing the board composition to seven directors. The company, the committee said, should enhance its business operations by building special expertise in marketing, sales, distribution, customer service, billing, revenues and quality assurance, among other services. It should urgently take special initiatives to enhance the quality of service and focus on customer orientation and satisfaction. The improvement in customer satisfaction index should be a part of the annual plan and performance matrix. The committee, which also has HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh and Telecom Secretary P J Thomas as its members, was set up to review the functioning of BSNL. For the first time, BSNL is expected to post a loss due to increased competition and declining market share, which stands at about 12 per cent. Further, procedural delays related to purchase of equipment and dependence on the government for decision making are also hampering the company?s growth. BSNL?s 93-million-line GSM tender has been put on hold due to various controversies. The company is facing a huge capacity crunch in many places. ?BSNL is under severe pressure and is making losses for the first time due to increased competition, a declining fixed-line market, antiquated processes and procedural bottleneck, especially related to purchase of equipment, bureaucratic and government dependent decision-making,? the committee noted.