Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) are not profitable even after saving a ton of money annually. BSNL saved up to Rs 10,000 crore annually. It brought down its annual expenditure from Rs 34,400 crores to Rs 24,687 crores mainly because of the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) scheme that became a part of the revival package. Even after saving all this money, the telco won’t be profitable until 2023-24. According to a PTI report, the standing parliamentary panel on IT has noted that BSNL will be profitable from 2023-24.
BSNL to be Provided 4G Spectrum by June-July this Year
In one of its reports, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said that BSNL has turned EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation) positive for the first six months of this year.
However, the committee believes that BSNL will only start noting profits in its books after two years. But even this prediction is subject to the ‘realisation of revenue and cash flow’ from the sale of land assets as per the revival package revealed by the government in 2019.
The committee's report also asked the DoT why has BSNL and MTNL not been allocated 4G spectrum. In reply to this, the telecom secretary, Anshu Prakash, said that BSNL floated the tender for acquiring 4G equipment in the past. But that tender had to be scrapped due to the telco being asked to procure equipment from the Indian operators only.
BSNL has floated a fresh 4G tender which will accept ‘proof of concept’ submitted by the companies as a substitute for experience. Vaghela said that companies such as TCS, Sterlite, Tech Mahindra, and L&T have already purchased the concerned forms, and BSNL got around 1,600 queries on the pre-bid meeting; the telco will respond to it very soon.
He further said that the telco would be allocated 4G spectrum by June-July this year.