BSNL registered its consolidated losses to Rs 7,441.11 crore in the FY2021. The financial year which ended on March 31, 2021, saw the state-run telecom narrow down its loss from the previous Rs 15,499.58 crore in 2019-20.
According to a BSNL official, “The loss has come down mainly due to reduction in employee wages on account of voluntary retirement opted by 78,569 employees.”
The operations revenue of the telecom company has declined by 1.6 percent to Rs 18,595.12 crore in 2020-21. This revenue was reported at Rs 18,906.56 crore in 2019-20. The net worth of BSNL has also fallen further from Rs 59,139.82 crore in FY2020 to Rs 51,686.8 crore during FY2021. A huge debt still lingers over the company. This mammoth amount further increased to Rs 27,033.6 crore in FY2020-21. The debt recorded in FY2019-20 was Rs 21,674.74 crore.
Will the government shut down BSNL?
The government has made it clear that it has no plan on shutting telecom firms including BSNL and MTNL. Former Minister of State for Telecom Sanjay Dhotre made it pretty clear earlier this year about the government’s stance on the loss-making public sector telcos. Both the firms continued to make increased losses every passing fiscal. And this narrowing of BSNL’s margins can be seen as a silver lining.
Sanjay Dhotre has mentioned that “The government has no plan to close down BSNL and MTNL.” The government also availed a revival package of a staggering Rs 69,000 crore back in October 2019.
The revival plan was meant to reduce employee costs by offering employees of age 50 years and above a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS). This also included a budgetary allocation for administrative allotment of spectrum for 4G services. Debt restructuring was to be made by raising sovereign guarantee bonds. Lastly, monetization of assets was to be made sure to generate resources for retiring debt, capital expenditure, and other requirements. There were also talks of a merger of BSNL and MTNL. This merger was deferred later on due to financial reasons.