BSNL is gearing up for a legal battle in order to recover its dues from the bankrupt telco, Aircel. Joining the likes of Idea Cellular and Vodafone India, the telco is making attempts left, right and centre to receive the leftover payment which the bankrupt entity has strung along. However, BSNL is not the only one. The state-owned telco is seeking legal opinion to recover Rs 42 crore from Aircel. Chief Managing Director of BSNL, Anupam Shrivastava also had some insights to share. He said to ET Telecom that “BSNL has already encashed various bank guarantees worth Rs 32.22 crores. We are trying to find a legal framework for encashing guarantees kept for other activities such as interconnection usage charge (IUC) and porting.”
After resorting to other ways like bank guarantees and following a failed attempt at reaching out to the telco, the state-owned entity decided to write to the telecom ministry in order to seek another way of repayment. Through the other ways, BSNL was only able to secure Rs 32.2 crore of the actual Rs 42 crore amount. It is noteworthy that Aircel announced its bankruptcy in the month of February citing reasons like excessive competition and growing losses.
Now the Interim Resolution Professional, which in this case happens to be Deloitte’s Vijaykumar Iyer, has been appointed for debt restructuring of the firm. He is also the one handling the repayment of the dues, and managing the company. However, the IRP clearly highlighted that the company will have to pump additional Rs 200 crore urgently in order to fuel the company’s infrastructure and to keep the operations running.
The telco which had filed for bankruptcy in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) is buried under the debt of Rs 50,000 crore out of which Rs 19,000 crore it owes in the loan to various banks. Its tower partner GTL Infrastructure is also on the lookout of recovering dues of Rs 1,000 crores alone from the bankrupt telco.
It remains to be seen how BSNL recovers its dues of Rs 42.5 crores on account of intra-circle roaming (ICR), interconnection usage charge and tower sharing from Aircel.