BSNL vendors like Nokia, ZTE, UT Starcom may have to wait longer for clearance of dues

By: |
October 7, 2020 8:30 AM

Most of the vendors have written several letters to the firms as well as department of telecommunications (DoT) seeking release of their payments.

Most of the vendors have written several letters to the firms as well as department of telecommunications (DoT) seeking release of their payments.Most of the vendors have written several letters to the firms as well as department of telecommunications (DoT) seeking release of their payments.

The vendors of state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) would have to wait longer for clearance of their dues as the ailing company is not expected to clear more than 10% of the outstanding dues every month. The company has a total dues of around Rs 15,000 crore towards various vendors like Nokia, ZTE, UT Starcom, etc, who all were expecting that with the company recently raising Rs 8,500 crore through sovereign bonds, would either clear their dues in one go or at least 40-50% of the total amount.

“BSNL has cleared 10% of our dues after raising funds through bonds. We were expecting that about 50% of our dues would be cleared but the BSNL management is saying bulk of the money would be utilised for retiring bank debts. They, however, have promised to make monthly payments in installments for outstanding dues,” said an official with one of the vendors. However, BSNL has not given any written commitment to the vendors regarding monthly clearance of dues through installments.

A query sent to BSNL regarding the matter remained unanswered till the time of going to the press. A source, however said that the company has been clearing 10% of the dues for the past two months and the same practise is going to be continued.

On September 21, BSNL had announced about raising Rs 8,500 crore through issuance of sovereign bonds. The funds raised were meant to be utilised for retiring debt and meeting the capex requirements. The state-run company has an over Rs 20,000 crore debt on its books.

Most of the vendors have written several letters to the firms as well as department of telecommunications (DoT) seeking release of their payments.

A few months ago, industry body COAI had also written to DoT on behalf of the vendors urging that payments be released.

More recently, Nokia had warned that it would pull out support for maintaining BSNL’s network in the absence of clearance of the dues. But as some amount has been released, the company continues to provide the support.

Despite the revival package to the tune of around Rs 70,000 crore announced in October last year, BSNL continues to face liquidity challenges.

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