Budget 2020: BSNL, MTNL to get Rs 37,640 crore from govt in FY-21

State-owned telecom firms BSNL and MTNL will get fund infusion of around Rs 37,640 crore mainly for 4G spectrum and implementation of voluntary retirement scheme, according to Budget document 2020-21.

The government will infuse Rs 14,115 crore in BSNL and Rs 6,295 crore in MTNL for 4G spectrum. Besides, Rs 2,541 crore and Rs 1,133 crore will be provided to BSNL and MTNL, respectively as grant in aid for payment of GST.

MTNL has reported losses in nine of the past 10 years and BSNL too has been ringing in loss since 2010. The total debt on both the companies is at Rs 40,000 crore, of which half of the liability is on MTNL alone.

The capital infusion for 4G spectrum will help the debt-ridden PSUs to compete with private sector players who have rolled out pan-India 4G services.

Both the firms will get Rs 9,889.65 crore cumulatively for ex-gratia payment for voluntarily retiring employees and Rs 3,294.77 crore for implementing voluntary retirement scheme (VRS).

Over 78,300 BSNL employees and 14,378 at MTNL have opted for VRS.

MTNL will also get financial support of Rs 372 crore on account of minimum alternate tax, refund of CDMA spectrum, payment of interest on MTNL Bonds and fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service.

Besides, state-owned telecom manufacturing unit Indian Telephone Industries Ltd will get fund infusion of Rs 405 crore in the upcoming fiscal year.

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