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|March 27, 1998||
VSNL elevated to schedule 'A' public unit
The department of public enterprises has upgraded Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd from a schedule 'B' to the top schedule 'A' category public sector unit.
Public enterprises have been divided into four schedules -- A to D -- on the basis of criteria like turnover, profit, investment and capital. And VSNL's current elevation gives the board of directors more powers and better pay.
VSNL's revenues jumped 18.16 per cent, from Rs 44.73 billion in 1995-96 to Rs 52.85 billion in 1996, the last year for which audited figures were available. Profit after tax climbed 23.24 per cent to Rs 5.04 billion. VSNL's operating profit margin is 18.34 per cent and its net profit margin is 9.55 per cent.
The current rise in position is in tune with the Navaratna status accorded it last year. This allowed the company board to decide on issues like joint ventures, capital expenditure and setting up of subsidiary firms. But such moves would depend on the inclusion of new directors from outside, a proposal for which is still lying with the ministry of communications.
And VSNL, schedule 'A' or not, has to wait for the vacuum caused by the resignation of former communications minister Beni Prasad Verma to be filled before a decision is taken.
-Compiled from the Indian media
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