HFCL To Invest Rs 200 Cr In Punjab Basic Operations

Mumbai: | Updated: Jul 29 2002, 05:30am hrs
Himachal Futuristic Communications Limited (HFCL) will invest Rs 200 crore in the Punjab basic services circle during the current financial year. This investment will be made largely to expand its services in the circle.

According to senior officials in the company, HFCL is examining the option of either roping in a new investor or divesting a part of its stake in the Punjab circle to meet this investment requirement.

HFCL provides basic services in the circle through HFCL Infotel in which HFCL holds a 74 per cent stake. As reported earlier in eFE, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been appointed to value the circle.

PwC will value the Punjab circle and advise us on alternative sources of funding, the officials said. The report from PwC is expected to be completed over the next few days. Officials added that the company was comfortable with both the options at this stage.

HFCL currently has a subscriber base of 80,000 in the Punjab circle including fixed line service and wireless in local loop (WLL) subscribers.

We are targeting an overall subscriber base of 1.5 lakh by the end of the current financial year, officials said.

HFCL has a subscriber base of 15,000 for its WLL service, which the company intends to increase to 45,000 during the same period. The company sees greater demand for the WLL service.

To date, HFCL has made an investment of Rs 1,000 crore in the Punjab circle. This includes the license fee costs and money spent on creation of infrastructure, said officials.