Consultants roped in to evaluate land monetisation process for BSNL, MTNL: CMD

A preliminary report on the land monetisation process is likely to be submitted by the month-end, BSNL Chairman and Managing Director P K Purwar added.

In line with the asset monetisation plans for state-owned telecom firms BSNL and MTNL, four consultants including CBRE, JLL and Knight Frank have been roped in to gauge the market appetite and assess the process that could be adopted, a top company official said. A preliminary report on the land monetisation process is likely to be submitted by the month-end, BSNL Chairman and Managing Director P K Purwar added.

As many as 11 assets have been shortlisted for monetisation in case of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and about five for Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL).

Purwar -- who earlier this year was also handed the additional charge of MTNL -- confirmed that CBRE, JLL and Knight Frank are among the consultancy firms appointed by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) for the process.


"For BSNL, 11 assets have been shortlisted for monetisation. The consultants will assess monetisation process that should be followed, they will handhold both the organisations and DIPAM on what is a better way, how optimum value can be derived... they will do due-diligence on behalf of the department," Purwar told .

It may well take 8-10 months for the entire process to conclude, Purwar said, but added the preliminary report is expected by the month-end.

"They will look into all possible aspects...based on market appetite amid difficulty, as well as constraints in land parcels individually, if any. They are in the process of visiting the sites...In this month, we expect preliminary report to be submitted," he said.
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Asked if the coronavirus pandemic will pose challenges to the monetisation process, Purwar said, "There will be some issues, appetite in the market needs to be assessed, but at this stage we have not reached that point."

"We first have to assess the issues in property and other logistics, resolve them, then assess market constraints and other aspects," he said.

In October last year, the government approved a Rs 69,000 crore revival package for BSNL and MTNL that included merging the two loss-making firms, monetising their assets and Voluntary Retirement Scheme for employees so that the combined entity turns profitable in two years.
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