As per the Parliamentary panel report, the Department of Telecom has sought Rs 33,111 crore for payment of adjusted gross revenue dues of state-run BSNL which is likely to be made in the upcoming April-June quarter.
DoT Seeks Rs 33,111 crore for BSNL Dues
The Department of Telecom shared, in a submission to the Standing Committee of Communications and Information Technology, that the Department of Telecom shared that against the proposal of Rs 39,725.07 crore for 2023-24, Rs 66,691.82 crore has been allocated to it in the budget.
The department said in a written reply to the panel that “The increased amount is towards the payment of AGR Dues to BSNL, which is a part of its revival package. The Department had proposed an amount of Rs 33,111.00 crore for the AGR Dues. The payment will be made once BSNL claims the amount and is most likely to happen in the first quarter of FY 2023-24”.
A total of Rs 1,08,153.25 crore has been allocated by the Finance Ministry under Budget Estimates to the DoT comprising Rs 41,461.43 crore under revenue section and Rs 66,691.82 crore for capital section accounts.
For the current fiscal, instead of Rs 33,269.01 crore, Rs 44,720 crore have been allocated by the government for the capital infusion in the state-run BSNL and MTNL. Out of the fund received, Rs 23,873.44 crore have been spent till December 2022.
The panel has been informed by the DoT that the techno-commercial bids of TCS and ITI were opened by BSNL on November 23 and financial bids of January 13 for procurement of 4G equipment and as per the cabinet approval Group of Ministers will approve the process of procurement.
The DoT submitted that “Due to indigenous development of 4G stack for the first time in the country and issues in supply chain of chipsets, the deployment will gradually start and completion of projects of all 1 lakhs sites is likely to take 2 years”.
Panel has been informed by DoT that the BSNL will gradually improve and is expected to be profitable in the financial year 2026-27.
The Increased Target & Widening Losses
A target regarding the revenue from operations has been targeted by the BSNL. For current fiscal, the target is set to Rs 17,161 crore and Rs 21,908 crore in 2023-24.
As per the submission, in 2023-2024 the losses of BSNL are expected to widen to Rs 7,766 crore.
As per the submission made before the panel, the Projected Revenue and expenditure of MTNL for the year 2023-24 is Rs 1,750 crore and Rs 4,970.78 crore respectively.