The Parliamentary panel found that due to similar laxity, National Highways Authority of India had acquired a 273 square metre of land in 2003 that was purchased by BSNL but because the said land was in the name of government, the authority did not pay any compensation to the state-run telecom firm.
"The Committee strongly deplore the confused and casual approach of the ministry in dealing with this matter. The committee are distressed to note that though the matter had come to the notice of the ministry after 13 years when this was pointed out by Audit, the ministry are still oscillating and have not been able to resolve the issue till date," the report said.
The committee was informed that BSNL is seeking legal opinion in the matter.
The PAC while "deprecating the laxity shown by the ministry in this regard" recommended that the matter should be resolved at the earliest and sought an update on legal opinion sought by BSNL in the matter.
The PAC noted that out of 17 leasehold plots in Gujarat and Rajasthan circles, lease deed was executed in two cases only. It further noted that out of 65 plots in Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan circles lease deed was executed in 45 cases only. The committee recommended the telecom ministry to fix these cases in a time bound manner.
A part of the plot of BSNL at Mahendra Hills in Andhra Pradesh circle was alloted to Sikh Community Welfare Association in 2005 on which the PAC gave the ministry two months time to update it on action taken report.
"The Committee are constrained to observe that the matter has not been resolved even after 12 years and no compensation has been received so far. Obviously, the ministry has slept over it and not acted with all seriousness that is required," the PAC said.
The panel suggested the ministry to take strict deterrent penal action against the defaulting officer for remaining inactive for such a long period.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.