BSNL vendors seek DoT intervention over dues

BSNL vendors seek DoT intervention over dues

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A clutch of Indian vendors of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) on Friday sought the telecom department's intervention for release of outstanding dues of nearly Rs 1,600 crore, pertaining to Bharat Net II project.

These companies, which have sought the intervention of Department of Telecom (DoT) Secretary Anshu Prakash, said they are "deeply troubled" over non-payment of dues and sought immediate release of outstanding payments.

The companies that have approached the DoT flagging their concerns on pending dues include Sterlite, Tejas, Paramount Wires And Cables Ltd (PWCL), Aksh Optifibre, Finolex among others, and the dues run into Rs 1,600 crore, said Sandeep Aggarwal, Managing Director of Paramount Communications.

"The dues are towards the supply of cable, electronics and pipes and are linked to Bharat Net II project," Aggarwal, who is also the Chairman of Telecom Committee of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told reporters.

The Union Cabinet had, last month, approved a plan to combine MTNL - which provides services in Mumbai and New Delhi - with BSNL that services the rest of the nation.

It also approved a Rs 69,000-crore revival package, including monetising their assets and giving VRS to employees.

The package includes infusion of Rs 20,140 crore for purchase of 4G spectrum, Rs 3,674 crore for GST to be paid on spectrum allocation, companies raising Rs 15,000 crore in debt on the sovereign guarantee and government funding Rs 17,160 crore VRS and another Rs 12,768 crore towards retirement liability.

The two firms will also monetise assets worth Rs 37,500 crore in the next three years. MTNL has reported losses in nine of the past 10 years and BSNL too has been ringing in a loss since 2010. The total debt on both companies stood at Rs 40,000 crore, of which half of the liability is on MTNL alone. 

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