BSNL Has No Money To Pay Power Bills; Govt. Pleads With States Not To Cut Electricity

BSNL power cut can hamper General Elections 2019

BSNL's electricity can be cut off
BSNL’s electricity can be cut off

Is this a mockery of state-run telecom carrier? Because if not mockery, then its certainly an insult.

After salary woes hit BSNL, and employees couldn’t get their salaries on time, it is the turn of electricity bills now.

Yes, you heard it right.

Such is the gloomy situation and electricity companies are about to disconnect power to BSNL offices, and towers.

It seems that BSNL has no money to pay electricity bills.

Govt. To States: Please Don’t Cut Power For BSNL

BSNL couldn’t pay the electricity bills it incurred for the last few months, and the natural progression is what everyone knows: Electricity supply will be cut off.

State Govt. owned electricity boards have threatened BSNL to cut their electricity supply, if the bills are not paid in time.

Govt. had to intervene, and plead with the states not to cut BSNL’s electricity.

In a letter to all States, Department of Telecom said, “BSNL is facing financial stress due to hyper competitive telecom scenario and there is a slight delay in paying electricity charges to the state electricity boards.”

Why Powerless BSNL Is Not Good For India

General Elections 2019 are about to begin from April, and most of the Govt. offices and Govt. employees use BSNL services for communicating.

In case State Govts stop giving power to BSNL offices and installations, then it will disrupt telephony and mobile services, and this can impact the elections.

DoT argued this logic, as it said to all State Govts: “State Electricity Board is resorting to disconnection of electricity connection at various key installations (of BSNL) providing telecom services to election machinery and many other important government agencies hampering telecom services.”, adding, “Moreover, most of the BSNL/MTNL installations are providing strategic telecom services for the election machinery.”

Infact, this is the logic presented by DoT in persuading various electricity boards from not disconnecting power to BSNL offices and towers.

In their letter to State Govts and Electricity Boards, DoT has pleaded that atleast till the time elections get over, BSNL should not be deprived of electricity, as it can pose problems for running the General Elections.

Interestingly, the letter doesn’t mention when the pending dues will be cleared.

BSNL’s Money Woes Continue

BSNL has no money right now, and unpaid electricity bills are just the tip of the iceberg.

For the first time in 18 years, BSNL employees didnt get their salaries, and in some cases, wages upto 6 months are pending.

Although Govt. released some urgent funds, and made sure that BSNL employees get their salaries before March, but the situation is indeed bad.

Reeling under debt of more than Rs 30,000 crore, and increasing costs and expenses, this is BSNL’s darkest ever phase. More than 35,000 employees can be fired, and all additional allowances for employees are being terminated.

Govt. somehow wants to end the misery of BSNL, and talks about possible closure or merger with other private players have not been ruled out.

As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures.

We will keep you updated, as more details come in.

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