The BSNL suffered badly due to certain political parties and it was used as a "cash cow" by some people who are still members of Parliament, Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved a huge project worth Rs 1.64 lakh crore for the revival of BSNL, and this will transform the telecom PSU completely, the minister said in Lok Sabha.
"The BSNL went through a very bad phase. Primarily due to certain political parties during UPA time. Lots of funds were diverted away," he said, amid protests by some opposition members.
Time has changed, the minister said, and the BSNL will soon launch 4G and 5G networks designed, developed and made in the country as per Modi's 'Make in India' initiative.
"Those times have gone when certain (former) ministers, people sitting on the other side of the aisle, used the BSNL as a cash cow," he said, pointing towards the opposition benches.
Vaishnaw, however, did not name any person or political party.
He said at present, mobile data in India is one of the cheapest in the world as one gigabyte (GB) of data is available for less than Rs 20. This was around Rs 200 during the UPA rule, the minister said.
He said the revival measures focus on infusing fresh capital for upgrading BSNL services, allocating spectrum, de-stressing its balance sheet and augmenting its fibre network by merging the Bharat Broadband Nigam Limited (BBNL) with the BSNL.