NEW DELHI: 1.70 lakh employees of the government-run telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will receive June wages on time, and the cash crunch is also expected to be eased following steps being taken by the Narendra Modi government, to further avoid the situation of salary delays.
“BSNL is in a comfortable position to pay June salaries to the staff, and we have sufficient cash flow now,” an official of the BSNL corporate office told the PageOne correspondent.
The public sector telecom service operator has delayed the February salary to its workforce by two weeks except for the corporate office employees.
Due to acute financial stress, the telco in a letter dated June 12, has asked its regional general managers to put capital expenditures, new contract awards and other payments to vendors on hold, following “temporary financial stress” and even debarred expenses on any services or goods without prior approval.
The state-owned telecom carrier has also been demanding its outstanding worth Rs 14,000 crore from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) primarily on account of government-funded projects which it had successfully undertaken including mobile connectivity in Left Wing Extremism affected areas as well as proceeds from the return of Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum.
In addition, the department is yet to credit Rs 3,300 crore loan, it approved after taking the Presidential Sanction with a letter of comfort issued in March, aimed to provide working capital to the state-driven company.
The situation is expected to improve in coming weeks with the intervention from the Prime Minister Office (PMO) although telco’s revenue is on the decline due to nonavailability of commercial 4G services. It is likely to post nearly Rs 7,500 crore loss for the 2018-19 fiscal.
Starting early this year, many of its partner-vendors such as Nokia, UTStarcom, American Tower Corporation, Bharti Infratel, Indus Towers, Fiberhome, Sterlite Technologies, Vihaan Networks Limited (VNL), Himachal Futuristic Communications Limited (HFCL), Birla Cables and Paramount Cables as well as small-and-medium enterprises such as Clixxo Broadband have started demanding the telco to clear their dues, following department’s advisory to hold back payouts but clear timely salaries.
Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Wednesday informed the Parliament that the government was working on the revival strategy of BSNL as well as Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) which operates in Delhi and Mumbai metropolitans.