BSNL Reports Losses of Rs 4,785 Crore in FY18; Telecom Minister Rejects Merger With MTNL

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has narrowed its losses to Rs 4,785 crore during FY18, even as its income declined to Rs 27,818 crore as against the previous fiscal. Telecom Minister, Manoj Sinha informed this news to Parliament today. BSNL posted a loss of Rs 4,859 crore in 2015-16, Rs 4,786 crore in 2016-17 and Rs 4,785 crore (provisional and unaudited) in 2017-18, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. Furthermore, BSNL’s income stood at Rs 32,411 crore (FY16), Rs 31,533 crore (FY17) and Rs 27,818 crore in FY18 (provisional and unaudited), Sinha added.


Since BSNL has incurred losses consecutively for the last three years, it has been declared as ‘Incipient Sick’ as per the guidelines of Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), the minister said. This news was reported by Press Trust of India (PTI).

Accordingly, action has been initiated by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for preparation of revival/restructuring plan of BSNL, Manoj Sinha further added.

Moving onto another state-run telecom firm, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL), it reported a loss of Rs 2,971 crore in FY18. This was against a similar amount in FY17 and Rs 2,006 crore in FY16. The company, which has operations in Delhi and Mumbai, saw its income declining to Rs 3,116 crore in 2017-18 from Rs 3,552 crore in 2016-17 and Rs 3,513 crore in 2015-16.

Sinha said at present, there is no proposal for merger of BSNL and MTNL. “For merger of BSNL and MTNL, there are various challenges/issues related to their employees, debt, properties, government share holding in MTNL etc,” he added.

There have been a lot of talks in recent times regarding the merger of BSNL and MTNL, but Manoj Sinha declined this news. BSNL has been aggressively competing with private telecom firms both in the telecom sector and broadband sector, while MTNL’s lack of innovation is hurting the telco badly.

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32 Comments on "BSNL Reports Losses of Rs 4,785 Crore in FY18; Telecom Minister Rejects Merger With MTNL"


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Kiran Fernandes | Goa
August 2, 2018 12:34 pm 12:34 PM

AU: BSNL is the future of India
Me: Beach please! They’re going down the gutter. Along with MTNL. Both are epic fails of their time.

August 7, 2018 11:00 am 11:00 AM

BSNL/MTNL, being Govt. telecom operators need to be strengthened so as to keep healty competition going on. Otherwise, with the presence of a monopolistic telecom operator , the telecom sector may not see the actual competition and people may be at financial losses which may be hidden. Time to think over it by the Govt./TRAI. Monopolistic regime is not good for a developing nation.

S Gopal
August 2, 2018 2:12 pm 2:12 PM
Cut them some slack, they might have significantly reduced their losses, but for the disruption caused to the telecom sector by the entrant of a new operator that has been a boon for the consumers, for the time being. It should be noteworthy to learn that MTNL, the all-time slacker amongst GSM 3G operators is able to churn out the fastest 3G speeds as adjudicated by TRAI, in Delhi circle . So while it does not have the license to operate 4G services (having surrendered that many years ago to augment revenue) it has massively improved its data network where… Read more »
Thamilan daa
August 2, 2018 8:36 am 8:36 AM

If BSNL and MTNL does not merge, they will be made shutdown by the heertless ministers

August 2, 2018 12:15 am 12:15 AM

Sneaindia site of recognized association of bsnl posted on April end posted expected BSNL’s loss as Rs. 11000 crs , how it has came done to 4785 crs what a medical miracle. Window dressing to the core.

In spite of decrease in revenue of Rs. 3750 cr revenue how the company maintain same loss.
God only can answer.

August 2, 2018 11:42 am 11:42 AM

The staff expenditure is reducing every month due to retirements and VRS. In BSNL out of every 100 Rupees earned, nearly 50 percent goes only to salary. Regarding 11000 crores of loss , the great Association leaders of SNEA should explain as even god don’t know there logics.

August 2, 2018 2:16 pm 2:16 PM

It’s not based on any logic it’s purely based factual figures obtained through internal sources, otherwise a recognized association couldn’t made it public.

Kaushik IMA
August 2, 2018 1:01 pm 1:01 PM

Anyone who works with government organisations know how these things are fudged, so I am not surprised – actual loss should be double the reported figures.

S Gopal
August 2, 2018 2:17 pm 2:17 PM

It is not easy to fudge, for the balancesheets need to be audited and endorsed, once by a CA firm and also by the nation’s CAG.

In the past on the rare occassion of fudging by a government enterprise, the CAG has does red flag the issues and the faulty figures have theb been amended by the enterprise and then only they are certified.

So there are safety measures in place and they kick-in to place whenever a tinkering attempt is made.

Kaushik IMA
August 2, 2018 6:30 pm 6:30 PM

Dear Gopal,

CAG investigation takes a long time, enough for the concerned people to destroy evidence and leave. Generally the big wigs are well connected. Am sure you know this.

S Gopal
August 2, 2018 11:39 pm 11:39 PM

CAG certifies the accounts of the public sector enterprise on an annual/yearly basis. If you take a look at CAG’s website and that of BSNL, their certified accounts are up to date. The financial observations have mandatory manner been noted in BSNL annual reports

Destruction evidence is a scenario that criminal investigating agencies face on a regular basis, specially where the initial investigation was botched up by a sub-national criminal investigating agency and subsequently handed over to a national criminal investigating agency.

Kaushik IMA
August 3, 2018 10:59 am 10:59 AM

Again, Mr. Gopal

You should understand that government reports data first, verifies later. They too have employees who care about payslip first and foremost.

I know of cases where CAGs flagging started only a year or two after initial misreporting.

There is a lot of leeway given to government officers to find loopholes and get away with all kinds of issues.

If you do not want to believe, that’s okay. But I have some experience on this matter.

Since govt itself has interests in not openly showing its failures, this kind of fudging is very common.

S Gopal
August 5, 2018 11:48 pm 11:48 PM
It is not a question of playing Ripley’s believe or not. What’s I have stated thus far is the factual position, as evident on CAG’s website and that of BSNL. A CAG report flagging it after years of delay occurs in scenarios where the enterprise delays in finalising its accounts. There are instances of enterprises delaying finalising of their annual accounts by years, if not decade. In the instant case,that of BSNl, where is the delay? Sooner than later the authentication of the accounts shall be done by the CAG. If a precedent can be citied can of BSNL pre… Read more »
August 2, 2018 2:17 pm 2:17 PM

100% correct, actual figure is more than double.