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Cabinet approves Rs 89,047 crore revival plan for BSNL

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a revival package of Rs 89,047 crore for state-owned BSNL, according to report quoting people with knowledge of the matter. The amount is part of the Rs 1.64-lakh-crore package announced last year for the revival of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL).

The government had announced a capital infusion of Rs 52,937 crore for the current financial year 2023-24, which was higher than the Rs 44,720 crore earmarked last year.

Announcing the Rs 1.64-lakh-crore last year, Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had said the package will be given in a staggered manner, spreading over four years. However, 70 per cent of the support will be extended within 1-2 years. The telecom minister had also said the result will be visible within the next two years.

Apart from the cash support, the government last year also said the administrative allocation of spectrum for 4G and 5G services for BSNL was given the go-ahead, along with approving its infrastructure expansion and upgrade.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) had constantly been making losses. BSNL’s losses in 2019-20 had stood at Rs 15,500 crore, which halved to Rs 7,441 crore in 2020-21 after a revival package in 2019.

In 2019, the government had proposed a plan to merge Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL), to revive both the state-owned companies that were reeling under losses. The government also aimed a Rs 38,000-crore asset monetisation programme, issuance of Rs 15,000 crore sovereign bonds and implementing a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for employees of BSNL and MTNL. News18

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