Keeping in mind the COVID-19 lockdown, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday announced that the prepaid SIMs of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) which were supposed to discontinue service, will continue to remain functional till April 20 for outgoing calls. Apart from this he also announced an incentive of a Rs 10 to be provided to the users, so that communication lines for the poor people continue.
"The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited has decided that prepaid SIMs will not be discontinued till April 20. For outgoing calls, a Rs 10 incentive has been provided automatically from today so that the poor and the needy people continue to work," Minister for Electronics & IT, Communications and Law & Justice Prasad told news agency ANI.
Ravi Shankar Prasad's decision comes after he held a meeting with the BSNL heads from all the states and the union territories and the Chief Postmaster General of the Postal Department through video conferencing. "I am happy to note that both these bodies are doing a good work. Postal Dept is sending a lot of money orders for the poor people and also ensuring Aadhaar link payment. They have even supplied lots of medical kits and other things," said Prasad.
"I have also stressed the need to ensure that complaints are addressed immediately," he added.
Union Minister for Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad earlier this month informed the Lok Sabha that the government has decided to revive BSNL and MTNL and that it is also giving packages to employees who sought voluntary retirement. The VRS was introduced as a part of the revival efforts of the two telecom firms.
“Our government has taken a conscious decision to revive both BSNL and MTNL because they do public service in floods, earthquakes, etc. BSNL’s revenue cost for the employee is 74 per cent, MTNL is 87 per cent, Airtel is three per cent, Vodafone six per cent and Jio four per cent,” Prasad said.