No 4G For BSNL Users? Govt Fails To Issue 4G Tender For BSNL, MTNL In 2020-21

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) have now been in the red for a long time now and the government is planning to revive the namely two telecommunication behemoths.

A budget of ? 20,410 crore has been allocated to the Ministry for Telecommunication by the Finance Ministry for capital infusion in both the organisations by providing them with 4G spectrum. As a step to financially revive both the entities, allotment of 4G spectrum has been envisaged by the centre.

Government Not Able To Issue The Tender

However, the Department of Finance has changed the total amount allocated to the target for the current financial year, namely 2021-22, as the Department of Communications has not been able to initiate a tender process to award BSNL and MTNL a 4G allocation.

Top sources in the Department of Communications have confirmed that there are delays in the tender process for the allocation of 4G spectrum to two state-owned telecommunications companies in 2020-21.

The Finance Ministry was forced to shift the allocated amount to the current financial year of 2021-22 due to the delay and the ministry could not spend the entire ? 20,410 crore during the whole of 2020-21.

Budgetary Allocation & Revised Estimate

The funds, according to official sources, were withdrawn from the Telecommunication Ministry during the Revised Estimate stage. For meeting the expenses, normally, a certain amount is allocated to a department in the Union Budget, which is known as Budgetary Allocation in Finance Ministry’s parlance.

During the financial year, departments require additional funding from Treasury according to their needs. Sometimes the actual amount provided under the Budget Allocation is raised or decreased, after reviewing the use of a particular department or department. This is called the Revised Estimate.

In this context, the Budget Allocation made in the Union Budget 2020-21 was, 20,410 crore under the heading “Capital Infusion in BSNL and MTNL 4G Spectrum”. However, in the Revised Standard Version, this was reduced to “zero” as until January 2021, the Department of Communications had not used a single pisa from its allocated amount.

Due to delays in the Department of Communications’s delay in awarding tenders for the allocation of BSNL and MTNL 4G spectrum, the total amount was changed to the 2021-22 Budget Estimate for the same purpose.

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