The employee union of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) wants the Indian government to clear the dues that it owes to the company. The employees want the money from the government to ensure that the telco can be put back on track. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) owes about Rs 30,000 crores to BSNL, which includes Rs 13,789 crores under Viability Gap Funding (VGF) for rural telephony.
According to a report from The Hindu, the union has been demanding the release of the funds for long now, and after much persuasion, the Telecom Minister coughed up Rs 282 crores. But there are still thousands of crores that the telco is entitled to get back from the government, and it is counting that it will receive it soon.
BSNL’s Tight Situation Financially Isn’t Helping
BSNL is in a tight situation financially. At the same time, the telco has to invest money into expanding its networks which won’t be possible if it doesn’t get the money from the government. Its falling subscribers aren’t also helping.
This money from the government can be used to put the telco back on track with expanding its 4G network infrastructure throughout the country.
Mr Satyanarayana, President, BTEU, Visakhapatnam, said that the union has also requested the IT Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, for asking the relevant authorities inside the DoT for BSNL’s initiation of 4G networks and services. Mr Satyanarayana said that BSNL is ready with 17,500 cell towers throughout India, and the towers have already been upgraded from 3G to 4G. All that is required is a nod from the government, and BSNL can start providing 4G services.
BSNL is already very behind the private operators of the country, who are all leaping to provide 5G as soon as possible. BSNL desperately needs to make its 4G networks live in India so that it can become financially stable and look to upgrade to 5G in the coming years.