State-run BSNL had an outstanding debt of Rs 7,666.94 crore as on January 31, 2016, while that of MTNL stood at Rs 13,529.62 crore at the end of February this year, Parliament was informed today. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a written reply to Lok Sabha said that BSNL’s debt is mainly due to its capital expenditure requirement. “This requirement started in June 2010 after the payment of BWA and 3G spectrum charges to the tune of Rs 18,500 crore to the government,” Prasad said. Also Read - Jio maintains lead in 4G download speed, Vi in upload in May: TRAIAlso Read - BSNL launches a new cheap Rs 499 broadband plan to take on Airtel Xtreme, JioFiber
For MTNL, debt has been accrued due to payment of Rs 11,097.97 crore for broadband wireless access (BWA) and 3G spectrum charges to government in June 2010 after taking loan of Rs 7,533.97 crore, he said.
“MTNL incurred a loss of Rs 5,322.03 crore in the year 2012-13. Major factors responsible for this position of MTNL are high staff cost of Rs 4,904.47 crore (140 percent of revenue). This includes actuarial valuation of retirement benefits to the tune of Rs 1,496 crore,” Prasad said.
The minister said government has received proposals from BSNL and MTNL for financial assistance for their revival.
“These proposals are surrender with refund of BWA spectrum held by BSNL and MTNL, settlement of pension liabilities of MTNL, waiver of notional loan with BSNL, annual financial support to BSNL and MTNL to reduce staff costs, financial support to MTNL for liability arising from levy of MAT and proposal for hiving off mobile tower assets of BSNL into a separate company,” he added.
The Minister said some of the issues have already been settled by the government which include surrender with refund of BWA spectrum in both service areas held by MTNL and six service areas of BSNL.
“Under this head, Rs 4,533.97 crore has been refunded to MTNL through bonds and Rs 6,724.51 crore is being refunded to BSNL through budgetary resources,” Prasad said.
Prasad said financial support of Rs 492.26 crore has been given to MTNL on account of liability arising from levy of minimum alternate tax (MAT) and Rs 458.04 crore to MTNL and Rs 169.16 crore to BSNL are being refunded on account of surrender of CDMA spectrum.
“In addition, BSNL and MTNL are taking several steps to enhance revenues through investments to strengthen their network and focus on customer care and service delivery to improve revenue generation,” Prasad added.