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DoT seeks Rs 33,111 cr for BSNL AGR dues

The Department of Telecom has sought Rs 33,111 crore for payment of adjusted gross revenue dues of state-run BSNL which is likely to be made in the upcoming April-June quarter, according to a Parliamentary panel report.

In a submission to the Standing Committee of Communications and Information Technology, the Department of Telecom shared that against the proposal of Rs 39,725.07 crore for 2023-24, Rs 66,691.82 crore has been allocated to it in the budget.

“The increased amount is towards the payment of AGR Dues to BSNL, which is a part of its revival package. The Department had proposed an amount of Rs 33,111.00 crore for the AGR Dues. The payment will be made once BSNL claims the amount and is most likely to happen in the first quarter of FY 2023-24,” the DoT informed in a written reply to the panel.

The Finance Ministry has allocated a total of Rs 1,08,153.25 crore under Budget Estimates for 2023-24 to the DoT comprising Rs 41,461.43 crore under revenue section and Rs 66,691.82 crore for capital section accounts.

The government had allocated Rs 44,720 crore for capital infusion in the state-run BSNL and MTNL for the current fiscal which was revised to Rs 33,269.01 crore and out of the total allocated fund Rs 23,873.44 crore have been spent till December 2022.

The DoT has informed the panel that the techno-commercial bids of TCS and ITI were opened by BSNL on November 23 and financial bids of January 13 for procurement of 4G equipment and as per the cabinet approval Group of Ministers will approve the process of procurement.

“Due to indigenous development of 4G stack for the first time in the country and issues in supply chain of chipsets, the deployment will gradually start and completion of projects of all 1 lakhs sites is likely to take 2 years,” the DoT submitted.

The DoT has informed the panel that BSNL will gradually improve and is expected to be profitable in the financial year 2026-27.

BSNL has set a target to generate Rs 17,161 crore revenue from operations in the current fiscal and Rs 21,908 crore in 2023-24.

The loss of BSNL is expected to widen to Rs 7,766 crore in 2023-24, as per the submission.

The Projected Revenue and expenditure of MTNL for the year 2023-24 is Rs 1,750 crore and Rs 4,970.78 crore respectively, according to the submission made before the panel. PTI

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