Rama Krishna Sangem
The Union Cabinet on June 7, Wednesday, approved a revival plan for the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) worth Rs 89,047 crore. It includes an allotment of 4G/5G spectrum for BSNL through equity infusion. With this, the authorized capital of BSNL will be increased from Rs 1.5 trillion to Rs 2.1 trillion.
“With this revival package, BSNL will emerge as a stable telecom service provider focused on providing connectivity to the remotest parts of India,” the Centre said in a press release. The Centre had approved the first revival package for BSNL in 2019, amounting to Rs 69,000 crore. In 2022, it approved a second revival package for BSNL amounting to Rs 1.64 trillion.
BSNL debt coming down
According to the Centre, as a result of these two packages, BSNL has started earning operating profits since FY22. The total debt of BSNL has reduced from Rs 32,944 crore to Rs 22,289 crore. In May, BSNL also issued advanced purchase orders worth Rs 15,000 crore to a TCS-led consortium. ITI Limited also received a contract for supplying 4G telecom gears worth Rs 3,889 crore.
The total order is of over Rs 19,000 crore,” a senior government official was quoted in the report by news agency PTI. TCS and a consortium, including state-run telecom technology development organisation C-DoT, will deploy around 1,00,000 4G sites for BSNL.
“The consortium led by Tata Consultancy Services Limited has received an Advance Purchase Order valued over Rs 15,000 crore from BSNL, a 100 per cent Govt of India-owned Public Sector Undertaking, for the deployment of a 4G network across India,” TCS said in a regulatory filing.
A Group of Ministers approved the proposal on May 8. As per the approval, 20 per cent of the total project has to be deployed by state-run ITI Limited.
ITI Ltd said it had bagged an advance purchase order worth Rs 3,889 crore from BSNL to deploy 23,633 sites for 4G services. The supply period for the 4G telecom gear is 18-24 months under the contract for network deployment in the West Zone of BSNL operations.