NEW DELHI: Paramount Wires & Cables Limited (PWCL), a Delhi-based optic fibre cable supplier to stressed Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has sought senior minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s intervention to clear its outstanding worth Rs 165.53 crore.
Delhi-based cable company’s employees remain unpaid for more than last two months with operations partially shut due to lack of sufficient funds.
In a letter to Prasad who holds telecommunications, IT and law portfolios, dated August 16, 2019, PWCL director Parth Aggarwal asked him to facilitate the release of company’s outstanding worth Rs 165 crore for the supply of Polyethylene Insulated Jelly Filled (PIJF) and Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) under the BharatNet-II initiative.
BharatNet is Centre’s ambitious digital connectivity program that aims to connect 2.5 lakh gram panchayats or village blocks encompassing more than 600,000 villages across India, for the delivery of citizen-centric services.
The mega initiative is being principally deployed by state-run BSNL, PowerGrid, and RailTel.
“The total pending amount against BharatNet phase – II supplies to BSNL is Rs 139.28 crore and Capex purchases, the total pending amount stands at Rs 26.25 crores,” Aggarwal in a letter said, and added the firm being a micro-small-and medium enterprise (MSME), the outstanding should not be extended beyond a 45-day period.
The MSME 2006 Act prescribes that public sector units (PSU) should clear dues within the 45 days from the date of receipt of products purchased and a further delay would attract three-fold higher interest rates than those prevalent in the banking business.
The financially-sick telco owes more than Rs 2,500 crore to multiple vendors including homegrown companies and multinationals such as Nokia, ZTE, UTStarcom, Fibrehome, Sterlite Technologies, Vihaan Networks Limited (VNL).
Earlier, Finnish Nokia threatened the state-controlled carrier to discontinue services if its outstanding worth Rs 800 crore is not cleared in a timely manner.
The state-run operator is expected to get a credit worth Rs 3,300 crore from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government in the coming week under the Presidential Sanction, approved in March this year.
The national telecom carrier has for the first time delayed February’s salary to as many as 1.65 lakh employees.
The Modi government is also actively working on BSNL’s revival package that includes Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) to the existing workforce, allocation of 4G spectrum, and land assets monetisation.