State-run BSNL on Monday said that of the total Rs. 10,000 crore it owes to its various vendors and contractors, the company has been able to clear dues of around Rs. 1,700 crore. The company has also been able to pay its employees’ salaries for the month of November.
“We have released Rs. 1,700 crore to our vendors and contractors for various dues through loans and internal accruals. Our overall outstanding is around Rs. 10,000 crore,” BSNL chairman & managing director PK Purwar said.
He added that employee salaries for November have also been paid. “Salaries (for November) for employees have been released today (Monday) and the amount will be credited to their accounts by the end of Monday or Tuesday morning,” he added. BSNL’s salary bill is in the range of Rs. 800 crore per month.
When asked about the regular disbursal of salaries, he said it would ‘take 3-4’ months and more clarity would come after January 31 when the employees who have opted for the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) complete their last day in office. After January 31, around 70,000 employees will be left in the organisation as 78,569 have opted for the scheme offered by the government.
Purwar had said that post-January 31, things would get streamlined and BSNL would have savings of around Rs. 600 crore per month during February and March, which means around Rs. 1,300-crore savings for this fiscal from just salaries.
BSNL would also raise Rs. 1,500 crore from the markets, the details of which would be finalised soon, Purwar said.
In October, the government had approved a Rs. 70,000-crore revival package for BSNL and MTNL which includes merging the two loss-making firms, monetising their assets and giving VRS to employees so that the combined entity turns profitable in two years.
Over the past few weeks both the companies launched their VRS plans and thousands of employees of BSNL and MTNL have opted for voluntary retirement, which is expected to save about Rs. 8,800 crore annually in salary bills for the debt-laden telecom companies.
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Source: Financial Express