The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) that includes telecom network suppliers such as Nokia, ZTE and Bharti Infratel have sought the Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT) intervention for clearing outstanding dues by public sector undertakings (PSUs), especially Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) amid lockdown.

In its letter to telecom secretary Anshu Prakash, dated April 8, 2020, the COAI said that a huge scale of delays and breach of contract commitments by PSUs is highly detrimental to global business sentiment towards India.

According to the letter, these PSUs currently owe around Rs 200 billion for services tendered by telecom sector vendors.

To this end, COAI has sought an urgent intervention by DoT for instructing BSNL and MTNL for the earliest release of their respective outstanding dues towards all telecom and network equipment manufacturers and infrastructure providers.

Telecom companies including multinational vendors such as Nokia, ZTE, and UTStarcom, as well as domestic firms including Vihaan Networks Limited (VNL), Paramount Wires and Cables Limited (PWCL), Aksh Optifibre, Fiberhome, Himachal Futuristic Communications Limited (HFCL), Transline Technologies, and Tejas Networks, have been demanding BSNL and MTNL to clear their outstanding dues.

Meanwhile, BSNL had cleared their outstanding dues partly in December 2019.