SNEA meet begins today

Its leaders oppose 74 p.c. FDI in telecom sector

Staff Reporter

Kozhikode: The 19th Kerala Circle Conference of the Sanchar Nigam Executives' Association (SNEA) will be held here on Tuesday and Wednesday. W. Seshagiri Rao, SNEA national president, will inaugurate the delegates' session at Hotel Span on Tuesday. A. Sujanapal, MLA, will inaugurate the open session at Malabar Palace on Wednesday. Director, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited BSNL (HRD), Niranjan Singh will address the gathering on the occasion.

Addressing mediapersons here on Monday, circle president K.D. Sebastian and secretary K. Sebastin said that the association's membership belonged to the middle management levels from the ranks of JTOs and DGMs. It had been instrumental in building up the Indian telecom sector.

Mr. Sebastian said that BSNL had a revenue of over Rs.42,000 crores.

Call rates

With the entry of BSNL into the mobile arena the high mobile rates of Rs.16 per minute for outgoing calls and Rs.9 per minute for incoming calls charged by earlier operators passed came down, he said.

He added that 95 per cent of the unprofitable rural sector was being handled by BSNL and 77 per cent of its investment was also in the rural sector. By 2007 its commitment to the nation to accomplish a target of another 70 million would be achieved. BSNL achieved six-lakh broadband connections in four months. It is aiming for an additional 30 lakhs by the end of this financial year.

However, Mr. Sebastian and Mr. Sebastin said that the 74 per cent hike in the FDI is making things difficult for BSNL. The growth of multinationals will harm the telecom revolution in the country apart from the security threats to which the nation could be exposed. Unbundling and sharing of infrastructure will create chaos, they added.

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