NEW DELHI: India’s trade group PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry Friday has asked the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to clear outstanding of micro, small and medium enterprises within a 45-day period to ease out their financial stress.
In a letter to BSNL chairman Pravin Kumar Purwar dated December 26, PHD Chamber’s Telecom Committee chairman Sandeep Agarwal said, “all the dues of micro, small and medium companies be cleared within 45 days.”
Earlier, the Delhi-based commerce body has urged the Narendra Modi government to redefine the segment on the basis of turnover in order to boost growth.
The state-driven telecom service provider which is in the process to implement the Centre’s ambitious revival package has decided to pay long-standing dues to its vendors including many smaller firms who have been struggling for survival following dragged payment.
“The current tranche of payment shall go a long way in reviving thousands of vendors who had closed down their operations due to long payment overdue of more than 12 months,” Agarwal in a letter said.
Following the nonpayment from BSNL, companies were finding hard to pay monthly wages to their staff.
Many micro and small firms operating in a cut-throat competitive environment were facing legal notices from their suppliers and statuary warnings after failing to pay them in a timely manner.
Multinationals such as Nokia, Ericsson, ZTE and UTStarcom even threatened the state-controlled operator to withdraw their support.
Finnish Nokia and Chinese ZTE have received Rs 150 crore each, as part payment from state operator.
Agarwal said that even after their current tranche of payments, most vendors will still be paid for their December 2018 invoices and only some would have got their invoices up to March 31, 2019, paid.
The PHD Chamber, however, anticipates that BSNL would register a 25% year-on-year growth in revenues 2020-21 fiscal on the back of a surge in the enterprise business and fourth-generation (4G) commercial foray.
In October this year, finance minister Nirmala Sitharam asked large companies to clear Rs 40,000 crore worth of MSMEs’ dues, and recommended timely disbursement process preferably within 45 days.