A parliamentary panel on public sector units has sought action against BSNL chairman and managing director Kuldeep Goyal for not showing up for its meeting on Thursday to examine the functioning of the state-owned telecom firm.
The chairman of the committee on public undertakings, V Kishore Chandra Deo, said in a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar that despite categorical instructions, Goyal did not attend the meeting, sources said.
"This tantamounted to gross impropriety on his part," the letter said, adding that the meeting had to be adjourned 'on a note that the displeasure of the committee may be conveyed to the CMD, BSNL'.
COPU, one of the three key financial committees of the Lok Sabha, asked the Speaker to taken up the matter 'with the concerned authorities for appropriate action against Goyal'.
The BSNL chief had sought exemption from appearing before the COPU on July 7, just a day before the meeting was to take place, sources said, adding that even the written replies from the company were received barely a day before the meeting.
This was the second time that Goyal had sought exemption from attending the meetings of the committee, they said.
"The committee unanimously took strong objection to both the late furnishing of written replies as well as non-appearance of CMD, BSNL, despite the chairman's categorical instructions to him," the letter noted.
It said there was a tendency on the part of the secretary or PSU chiefs to avoid appearance before parliamentary committees on 'one pretext or the other'.
It urged the Speaker to issue 'necessary directions to the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs for taking corrective measures to maintain the supremacy and dignity of Parliament as an institution."
BSNL, which was earning more than Rs 10,000 crore (Rs 100 billion) profit a few years ago, could barely manage to post a profit of Rs 575 crore (Rs 5.75 billion) last year.
It is likely that the company may slip into losses this year, as it could not withstand competition from private telecom operators.