Sell off BSNL, MTNL, Air India, Airport Authority & others in the services sector –  Government has no business to be in hospitality. Privatise portions of Indian Railways especially coaches and stations, Government has no role here too.

I wrote the above in 2014, as part of my wish list to the (then) new Government of Mr Narendra Modi. After five years, they seem to be taking steps in this direction, recently the Finance Ministry has recommended the closure of BSNL & MTNL.

If this really happens, I welcome the move and wish Air India and others join the list. Taxpayers can’t be used repeatedly to bail out public sector firms that are currently benefiting only its employees.

I agree, BSNL served a vital need at one point and their employees did great nation-building services in the formative years of our nation – I salute them, but those were in the past.

Government-owned firms should exist only as long as the private sector is:

  1. Unable to (Naxal areas or Remote Villages)
  2. Unwilling to (Nascent industries or exploratory in nature)
  3. Unviable (think about the struggling State Power Discoms struggling due to state’s subsidy of tariff )
  4. Risky (think Nuclear)

Once the private sector steps in, then it is time for the Government to sell and cash out (or) close the business with fair compensation to the employees.

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