20 Mar


In the meeting held with the CMD BSNL yesterday, the Unions and Associations enquired him about the salary payment. The CMD BSNL told that the payment would be made either before 31st March or in the first week of April. He further stated that, by May / June, 2020, salary payment will become regular. The representatives of the Unions and Associations insisted that salary payment should be made on 31.03.2020 itself.

A meeting between the BSNL Management and the Recognised Unions & Associations was held yesterday. Shri P.K. Purwar, CMD BSNL, Shri Arvind Vadnerkar, Director (HR) and Shri Manish Kumar, GM(Restg.) were present from the Management Side. BSNLEU is represented by Com.Animesh Mitra, President and Com.P.Abhimanyu, General Secretary. Representatives of NFTE, SNEA and AIBSNLEA attended. The following were briefed by the CMD BSNL:-

Performance of BSNL : BSNL has given 21 lakh new mobile connections in January, 2020 and 18 lakh new mobile connections in February, 2020. BSNL’s market share has increased marginally. Disconnections in broadband is significant. 6% to 8% revenue increase is there in the EB segment. Presently, 6,000 OLTs are there in our FTTH segment. Bharat Air Fibre is introduced to give FTTH connections in isolated places. Hereafter, BSNL will purchase Armoured Optic Fibre Cables to trace out faults.

VRs : 78,569 employees opted for VRS, out of which 199 have died. 1,767 cases are pending with BSNL and all other cases are already sent to the DoT. 76,929 VRS optees are getting provisional pension. 26,370 PPOs are issued. Rs.5,200 crore is the expenditure on account of Leave Encashment. First instalment of Ex-gratia and Leave Encashment will be paid to the VRS optees on 30th or 31st March, 2020.

 BSNL’s 4G service: In the budget for 2020-21, Government has made provision for allotment of 4G spectrum to BSNL and the same can be allotted to BSNL in May,2020. However, BSNL will not take the 4G spectrum immediately, since equipments will be ready for launching 4G service only after March, 2021. For 4G spectrum, BSNL has to pay Rs.5.5 crore, per day, as licence fee, even if BSNL does not use it. Hence, it is not wise to take the 4G spectrum, before the equipments are ready.

BSNL is already having 40,000 3G BTSs, which are 4G compatible. All these 40,000 BTSs can be upgraded to 4G BTSs, by which BSNL can immediately launch it’s 4G service. However, BSNL is experiencing certain difficulties in this regard. BSNL has to pay around Rs.2,000 crore as outstanding dues to the vendors of these BTSs, viz., Nokia, ZTE and Erricsson. Apart from that, Nokia is demanding a sum of Rs.3.5 lakh to Rs.7 lakh per BTS, for the upgradation of the 13,000 BTSs supplied by them. Whereas, ZTE is demanding a sum of Rs.7 lakh to Rs.10 lakh per BTS, for the upgradation of the 24,000 BTSs supplied by them. Since the rates are extremely high, BSNL is presently not in a position to upgrade these BTSs, for providing 4G service.

Monetisation of assets : BSNL has already identified 14 assets for sale. In these, 11 are accepted by the DIPAM (Department of Investment and Public Assets Management). Value of these 11 assets comes to Rs.18,200 crore. Three MNCs are identified for effecting the sale of these assets. Monetisation of assets is very essential. BSNL’s liability as of now is Rs.40,000 crore. If these assets are not sold immediately, then BSNL will fall into a debt-trap.

 Sovereign Guarantee : Government is expected to give the sovereign guarantee in April, 2020, which will enable BSNL to raise funds to the tune of Rs.8,500 crore from the market, by issuing bonds. The rate of interest for these bonds will be around 7.5%.

Merger of BSNL and MTNL : Merger of BSNL and MTNL will happen soon. The government is taking steps to ensure this merger expeditiously.