The government has released pending dues of Rs 171 crore to cash-strapped Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) for paying outstanding salaries to its employees for the month of February, a senior official said. While, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will use its internal accruals to clear salary dues of around Rs 850 crore by March 20.
The state-owned telephone operators had failed to pay salaries to their employees for the month of February, according to employees'representatives. BSNL Chairman and MD Anupam Shrivastava said the company was envisaging internal accruals of around Rs 850 crore this month which would all be used to disburse pending salaries to employees. BSNL has 1.76 lakh employees across India and MTNL has around 22,000.
BSNL spokesperson Sanjay Kumar Sinha said "the salaries of BSNL employees in Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and BSNL Corporate office (excluding senior officers and board members) have already been released."
A senior Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said that MTNL has been granted Rs 171 crore on March 12 as part of an internal settlement.
Both BSNL and MTNL have been ailing owing to the decisions taken by the government in the past due to high revenue to debt ratio as a large number of DoT employees have been transferred to these PSUs and the allocation of expensive spectrum for mobile services without giving them any choice.
MTNL is anticipating that asset monetisation and other measures can help it a great deal to pare its debt of around Rs 19,000 crore. BSNL with the lowest debt of Rs 14,000 crore amongst all telecom operators has sought 4G spectrum across India through equity infusion of Rs 7,000 crore to help it compete in the market.
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