For the first time, the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) circle in Kerala is facing a serious economic loss of about Rs 250 crore.
“Salaries of the contractual workers have not been paid since February. This is happening all over the country. And the state BSNL circle now says that the salary of the permanent employees in this month may get delayed,” said VAN Namboodiri, president of BSNL Casual and Contract Workers’ Federation.
In a report submitted to the central government, BSNL General Manager (Budget and Banking) Puran Chandra said that BSNL now has a total debt of Rs 11,236 crore up until July 14.
The public sector undertaking (PSU) BSNL is now deep into the crisis, where it is failing to manage salary liability of Rs 850 crore for the month of June. There is an outstanding liability of more than Rs 11,000 crore all over the country. The BSNL has been facing serious economic crisis since 2009, and the central government has failed in providing any solution to protect the PSU.
In Kerala, almost 50 towers of BSNL are now inoperative because of the rent issues. The state circle of BSNL has to pay Rs 25 crore to the private companies. Kerala was one of the very few circles, which had managed to cope with the crisis in previous years. But now, it is failing in keeping the situation under control.
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In March this year, the company was not able to pay salary to about 1.68 lakh regular employees, however, in April, it managed to sort the issue out. The PSU also had to resort to retrenching its contractual workers.
Both PSU telecom firms BSNL and MTNL have been reporting losses since the time they were asked to pay auction determined spectrum price in 2010 for all the circles where they operate, says a PTI report.
“Today, every telecom company is facing severe debt issues, not only BSNL. Reliance Jio also has a debt of approximately two lakh crore and Vodafone owes Rs 1,20,000 crore rupees. The central government is not allowing BSNL to take loan from banks to overcome this issue and is not even trying to support the PSU with any kind of economic or technical assistance. It seems like the present central government is trying to destroy BSNL,” said Namboodiri.
The All India Graduate Engineers and Telecom Officers Association (AIGETOA) in a letter dated June 18 has urged the prime minister to provide budgetary support to BSNL.
Also read: BSNL Asks All Circles to Retrench 30% Contractual Workers