BSNL has cleared salary payments of all employees for June from internal accruals of about Rs 2,000 crore. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

BSNL Clears June Salary Of All Its Employees Amid Financial Stress

State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. on Saturday cleared June salary of all its employees, while it awaits clearance of around Rs 14,000 crore in dues from the telecom department.

"BSNL has cleared salary payments of all employees for June from internal accruals of about Rs 2,000 crore," said a source at the state-run telecom firm. The company has cleared around Rs 750 crore for salaries, paid interest of around Rs 800 crore on loans and rest of the funds have been approved for operational expenses like electricity bill payments, partial dues of vendors, etc.

"A finance wing official has confirmed that they have received funds for June salary and it will be credited in the accounts of employees on Monday," said P Abhimanyu, convenor of All India Unions and Associations of BSNL.

According to the source cited above, BSNL has sent demand of Rs 14,000 crore to the Department of Telecom in April but is yet to receive it.

The demands include payment for excess pension amount, dues for rolling out mobile network in naxal effected area, and interest it paid on BWA spectrum, which was returned to the government, among others.

BSNL's total debt is around Rs 15,000 crore, which is lowest in the industry.

One of the main reasons for the company running in loss has been high expense ratio between wages and revenue on account of large number of employees that were transferred by the government to BSNL at the time of its formation.

According to official data, a total of 1,63,902 employees, including 46,597 executive and 1,17,305 non-executive, were working in BSNL as on March 31, 2019.

The employee cost for BSNL is 75.06 percent while that of private telecom companies varies between 2 and 5 percent of their total income.

The government has been promising to revive BNSL and MTNL and the proposals in this regard are pending with the Department of Telecommunications .

Bloomberg Quint

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