Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has not been in the best of shapes, financially speaking since the last few months. However, relief has come to the telecom operator in the form of revival package from the government. The state-led telecom operator was also to pay the salaries of the employees and had also held up payment for the vendors as well. Last time, we reported about BSNL’s financial situation, the vendors were also to receive the payment from BSNL, for which the centre had given some funds to BSNL for paying to the vendors. But, in a new update, as reported by ETTelecom, BSNL has now cleared the salaries of its employees for the November month. The 1.63 lakh employees of BSNL have now received their salaries for the November month. Not only this, but BSNL has also paid Rs 1,700 crore to the players with whom its payment was pending including vendors and other contractors.
BSNL Clears November Salaries for Employees
Regarding this, BSNL Chairman PK Purwar remarked “We have released nearly Rs 800 crores towards November salaries today. It will be credited to employees’ bank accounts today or tomorrow morning,” thus revealing that the vendors have been paid for BSNL. As per the top official of BSNL, the telecom operator was able to pay the vendors and the employees based on the internal accruals and the bank loans. However, with this, Purwar also added that the salary disbursement would take a few months, around two or three months precisely to stabilise. Even with some of the outstanding amount settled, majorly to the employees, BSNL is yet to pay some more to its vendors. This amount is in the range of Rs 10,000 crore and is also to be paid to creditors as well.
One of the biggest relief that has come to the state-led telecom operator has been in the form of Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) which has been extended to as much as 78,569 employees of BSNL. The VRS has been extended by the government, and until all the employees fully take the VRS, the state-led telecom operator will be the one bearing the salaries of the employees until January 30, 2020. With the new relief measures like VRS, BSNL is expected to save as much as Rs 600 crore per month starting 2020. As much as 50% of the workforce of BSNL has taken VRS.
BSNL Helped by Rs 750 Crore Fund from Government
It was back in October when the government had approved a relief package of Rs 70,000 crore for the two state-led telecom operators BSNL and MTNL. The relief package included VRS, asset monetisation plan and the allocation of 4G airwaves. In early December, BSNL also received Rs 750 crore, and MTNL also received Rs 750 crore from the government on account of the BharatNet - II project and BSNL was to use the amount for paying off dues to its vendors. Out of the total amount obtained by BSNL, around Rs 300 crore has been used to pay some of the vendors of BSNL.
AGR Dues Also Looming Over BSNL
There are not the only source of financial pressure on the state-led telecom operator. But, also there is the issue of AGR dues similar to other telecom operators, which BSNL has to pay to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). BSNL has to pay a license fee of Rs 2,099 crore and spectrum usage charge (SUC) worth Rs 2,890 crore to the DoT. Hence, the total dues on account of AGR issue for BSNL come out to be around Rs 4,990 crore. BSNL has asked the department to relieve the dues for the telecom company.