There is no denying the fact that all public organisations need to operate efficiently and deliver quality services at affordable rates and BSNL and MTNL would need to continuously keep innovating to be able to do so. At the same time, certain nation-building infrastructure initiatives, which they are engaged, needs to be looked at differently, beyond quarterly or annual accounts of profit and loss. Government needs to step in. Any support that the government provides to organisations such as BSNL and MTNL has to be seen in the context of the role they play in the development of the nation. They should be seen as enablers of a new knowledge economy and of inclusive growth.

Harsh Chitale, CEO of HCL Infosystems, says: "I am a strong proponent of free-market economy and do believe that well regulated but unhindered competition between players working within the "same rules of the game" drives better outcome for all stakeholders -- consumers, investors and the state. However, the case of BSNL and MTNL is a bit different. On one hand, they get drawn into many projects of national importance (but not necessarily with immediate commercial viability). On the other hand, they are straddled with government procedures in procurement, in getting their projects approved, HR policies and so on. As a result they are not allowed to have the flexibility and agility that other private operators enjoy." Read More