BSNL Gets Rs 770 Crore From BBNL To Clear BharatNet Vendor Dues
Like other telecom companies in India, BSNL too has been facing stress since the entry of Reliance Jio in the telecom market. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

BSNL Gets Rs 770 Crore From BBNL To Clear BharatNet Vendor Dues

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Bharat Broadband Nigam Ltd., a state-run infrastructure firm that is setting up optical fibre network under BharatNet Project, has paid around Rs 770 crore in advance to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. to help the telecom firm clear dues of vendors involved in the project.

The debt-ridden state-run telecom firm had requested BBNL to pay Rs 1,033 crore earlier this month to clear the dues of vendors engaged in BharatNet project.

BBNL had allocated around 70 percent of rural broadband network roll-out work to BSNL.

"BSNL had requested payment of Rs 1,033 crore out of which around Rs 770 crore has been cleared by BBNL," a government official told PTI.

BSNL had requested payment of Rs 1,033 crore from BBNL as an advance to clear the pending liabilities of Uttar Pradesh East and Madhya Pradesh Circles of Rs 716 crore along with telecom factory liabilities of Rs 40 crore earlier this month.

PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry telecom committee chairman Sandeep Aggarwal said that payment being released by BSNL will help in reviving thousands of vendors who had closed down their operations due to long payment overdues of more than 12 months.

"Many vendors who were still operating had notices from their suppliers to take them to National Company Law Tribunal and their bankers to declare them non-performing assets," Aggarwal said in a letter dated Dec. 26 to BSNL Chairman and Managing Director PK Purwar.

He said that most of the vendors will be getting payment for invoices raised in December and some for the invoice raised in March 2019.

"We request that all the dues of MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) companies be cleared within 45 days," Aggarwal said.

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