Loss-making state telcos make move to recover debt

14 Mar 2013

State-owned telcos Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) were owed a combined total of INR62.15 billion (USD1.144 billion) in outstanding arrears from customers at the end of 2012, the Economic Times reports citing telecoms minister Kapil Sibal. Of the total, INR51.88 billion is due to BSNL and INR10.27 billion to MTNL whilst a further INR190 million is owed to the latter by government offices. The duo, which are struggling under mounting debt have implemented incentive schemes to employees and are looking to enlist government help in recovering arrears from defaulters. Minister of state for communications and IT Killi Kruparani added that the pair were owed INR480.6 million from privately owned telcos in outstanding fees for hiring infrastructure. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that BSNL’s financial situation has deteriorated since the 2010 fiscal year (ended 31 March 2010) when it booked a net loss of INR18.23 billion. By end-March 2012, BSNL’s annual net losses had more than tripled to INR63.84 billion.