BSNL, whims and fancies

February 6, 2007

Bharath Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), the esteemed telephone service provider has a few questions unanswered. Just take a look at your telephone land line bill and you will find 3 parts in it viz the monthly rental , actual usage charges, service tax components.

Long long back when BSNL was the Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) laid the copper twisted pair cables everywhere to facilitate voice and telepgraphs in the early years of this century. It had to spend capital money in surveying area, setting up poles, laying copper lead pairs underground to reach the homes across the country and a initial fixed capital was expended. The only way BSNL could get that was in installments from its users and thus was born the monthly rental. Is it valid even today? Why is BSNL charging this despite more than 50 years. It has allready collected and filled its coffers.

Interestingly the BSNL officials point out that FREE calls are given to customers. Do we need it at all? Charge us for what we use just like a prepaid mobile service – No rentals. But the official says these free calls were introduced when the manual instruments were faulty and often the customer landed WRONG numbers and hence this facility is provided. OK its high time the electronic versions of these instruments land calls CORRECTLY and remove this nonsence too.

We dont need charity for business, households but may be for old age homes et all some subsidy is required.

The last part of the service tax is more interesting. Its somewhat more than the 12.5 % stipulated elsewhere and am still finding seniors, over seniors to get an answer to this dilemma.

Look at mobile service providers, they too have set shop , paid licence fees, set up huge towers and maintain them round the clock. My prepaid mobile is rent free, charged nominally for ONLY calls made. Best is there is no service tax too!

High time BSNL dropped the rental clause else people are savvy to understand.