State-owned operators owed USD542m by subscribers

12 Mar 2015

Ailing state-owned telecom firms Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) are owed INR34.07 billion (USD542.3 million) by their customers, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha, India’s lower house, the Economic Times reports. As at end-December 2014, outstanding dues from subscribers totalled INR25.20 billion for BSNL and INR8.87 billion for MTNL. Mr Prasad noted that BSNL had recovered unpaid fees totalling INR253.41 billion over the previous three years, including INR64.36 billion in fiscal 2014, and INR47.64 billion in the first nine months of the 2015 financial year. As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the government is currently attempting to restore the two loss-making providers, and to-date has taken measures including refunding the pair for relinquishing unused frequencies and taking on MTNL’s pension payments.