BSNL prepaid users will not be required to do mandatory recharges until at least April 20, as the central government looks to help out millions of individuals, particularly those belonging to a financially lower strata of the society. The move aims to particularly help out members of the working class community of India who primarily earn on a daily wage basis, and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, have been left without income avenues for the foreseeable future. The announcement was made earlier today, by union telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Prasad further said that an incentive of Rs 10 will also be rolled out automatically to users of BSNL prepaid connections, so as to aid them in making outgoing calls. The state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited's (BSNL) prepaid connection is actively used by millions of users across India, especially among the low data usage segment of Indian consumers. Since the advent of Reliance Jio, those who have moved on to using smartphones from feature phones have migrated to the latter, sparking off a mass transition to a digital services ecosystem in India.
With BSNL's aid being brought forth by the government in these times of crisis, it remains to be seen if private players such as Vodafone-Idea and Bharti Airtel also attempt to adopt similar steps. India presently faces an unprecedented situation, with the majority section of the country now in lockdown in a bid to prevent the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus from spreading into the community, therefore creating what may become India's largest healthcare crisis in recent history.