According to a parliamentary panel report, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has sought Rs 331.11 billion for payment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) which is likely to be made in the upcoming April-June 2023 quarter.
In a submission to the Standing Committee of Communications and Information Technology, DoT shared that against the proposal of Rs 397.25 billion for 2023-24, Rs 666.92 billion has been allocated to it in the budget. As per DoT, 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 331.11 billion for the dues. The payment will be made once BSNL claims the amount and is most likely to happen in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2023-24.
Further, DoT has informed the panel that the techno-commercial bids of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and ITI Limited were opened by BSNL on November 23, 2022, and financial bids for procurement of 4G equipment on January 13, 2023. A group of ministers will approve the process of procurement.
In addition, DoT submitted that due to the indigenous development of 4G stack for the first time in the country and issues in the supply chain of chipsets, the deployment would gradually start and completion of projects of all 100,000 sites is likely to take two years. It has informed the panel that BSNL will gradually improve and is expected to be profitable in the fiscal year 2026-27.
As per the submission, BSNL has set a target to generate Rs 171.61 billion in revenue from operations in the current fiscal and Rs 219.08 billion in 2023-24. The telco’s loss is expected to widen to Rs 77.66 billion in 2023-24. Meanwhile, the projected revenue and expenditure of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) for the year 2023-24 are Rs 17.50 billion and Rs 49.71 billion respectively.