BSNL’s mega expansion plan; govt-backed telco to borrow Rs 12,000 crore from market

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Published: September 24, 2019 2:04:13 PM

The cash-strapped Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is mulling over a mega expansion plan to raise capital from the market, BSNL Chairman and Managing Director P K Purwar.

BSNL is also targeting VRS package for its 70,000 employees, even as it has paid employees salaries through internal sources, he added.

The cash-strapped Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is mulling over a mega expansion plan to raise capital from the market, BSNL Chairman and Managing Director P K Purwar told CNBC TV-18 on Tuesday. The state-owned telecom firm will approach the market to borrow Rs 12,000 crore for expansion plan post approval by the union cabinet, P K Purwar also said. A plan to revive the crisis-ridden company is an advanced stage, he said adding administrative allocation of 4G spectrum may be a part of the revival package. BSNL is also targeting VRS package for its 70,000 employees, even as it has paid employees salaries through internal sources, he added.

State-owned distressed telecom firms BSNL and MTNL have been reporting  losses and facing problems in clearing salaries of employees in the recent past. A plan to rescue for both companies is being worked upon by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for some time now, according to media reports.  The plan may include a revival package that includes components such as voluntary retirement scheme, asset monetisation and allocation of 4G spectrum, reports said.

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BSNL Chairman and Managing Director P K Purwar had recently confirmed to the news agency PTI that the corporation transferred the funds and made August salary payment to its employees, last week. “Employees have got their salary now. The salary requirements were met internally,” BSNL CMD also told PTI. With a fall in revenue to Rs 19,308 crore during 2018-19, BSNL’s loss is estimated to be around Rs 14,000 crore. The company’s  provisional loss was Rs 4,859 crore in 2015-16, Rs 4,793 crore in 2016-17, Rs 7,993 crore in 2017-18 and is estimated to rise to Rs 14,202 crore in 2018-19, according to information presented in Parliament.

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