The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Videsh Sanchar gets a breather

Sept 25: Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd today received a breather when communications minister Pramod Mahajan extended the October 1 deadline to resolve the revenue sharing and interconnect agreement.

Mahajan and the chiefs of his two telecom public sector companies — Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd — had threatened to divert ISD call traffic to IndiaOne, the first private carrier of international long distance calls, if it did not revise its revenue share offer.

A meeting called by finance minister Jaswant Singh to discuss the issue on Tuesday could not take it up due to the developments in Gujarat, where two terrorists had entered the Swaminarayan temple and killed more than 24 people.

Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani, disinvestment minister Arun Shourie, finance minister Jaswant Singh and communications minister Pramod Mahajan would again meet on October 5 to resolve the revenue sharing of international traffic by VSNL and two telecom PSUs.

“Jaswant Singh has left for New York and I am going to Mauritius to inaugurate an IT city, which has been given a soft loan of $ 100 million, and both will be back by October 4,” said Mahajan.

Inaugurating a two-day Nasscom-Gartner summit 2002 at Mumbai, Mahajan said the interconnect lines between VSNL and BSNL and MTNL would not be cut on October 1. “There has been no interconnect agreement between these entities since April 1 this year and they were also not getting any money,” said Mahajan.

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