New Delhi, July 27
The government today approved a second tranche of BSNL revival package worth Rs 1.64 lakh crore, of which the cash component will be Rs 43,964 crore, Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said.
Briefing the media about the decision of the Union Cabinet, which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the minister said Rs 33,000 crore of statutory dues of the BSNL would be converted into government equity and the company would issue sovereign bonds to repay another Rs 33,000 crore existing bank dues.
Meanwhile, the minister also informed that India’s auction of the 5G spectrum, capable of offering lag-free connectivity and ultra-high speed Internet, had garnered Rs 1.49 lakh crore worth of bids so far. He said the second day of the auction had ended and it would continue on Thursday.
“I am happy to see good competition in the auction, good competition for all bands has come in,” the minister said, adding: “Bids worth Rs 1,49,454 crore have been received so far at the end of the ninth round.” Talking about the BSNL revival package, the minister said the focus of the Cabinet decision was to infuse fresh capital for upgrading services, allocating spectrum, destressing its balance sheet and augmenting its fibre network by merging Bharat Broadband Nigam Ltd (BBNL) with the BSNL.
The government will make administrative allocation of spectrum the BSNL needs to offer 4G services. The allocation of spectrum in 900/1,800 MHz band at the cost of Rs 44,993 crore would be through equity infusion, the minister said, adding that to meet the projected capital expenditure for the next four years, the government would fund capex of Rs 22,471 crore for developing 4G technology stack.
Also, the government will provide Rs 13,789 crore to BSNL as viability-gap funding for commercially unviable rural wireline operations done from 2014-15 to 2019-20.
The minister said the Cabinet had also approved a project for saturation of 4G mobile services in uncovered villages across the country at a total cost of Rs 26,316 crore. The project will provide 4G mobile services in 24,680 uncovered villages in remote and difficult areas.
Cabinet nod to revamp state-owned telco
First revival package: Oct 2019
Rs 70,000 cr total package
Rs 29,937 cr was towards VRS for staff above 50 years
Led to Rs 7,000 cr saving as manpower reduced by 78,500
Infusing capital second time
Total Package: Rs 1.64 lakh cr
Cash infusion: Rs 43,964 cr
- Rs 33,000 cr of statutory dues to be converted into govt equity
- Sovereign bonds worth Rs 33,000 cr to repay existing bank loans
- Allocation of 4G spectrum worth Rs 44,993 crore on equity basis
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