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BSNL can be profitable if staff is rationalised, says Chairman

PW Bureau

DoT issued a letter of comfort for Presidential Sanction of Rs 3500 crore to the state-run telecoms firm to facilitate bank credit New Delhi: Amid the financial crisis, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) might soon be a dividend-paying operator, if its staff is rationalised the way private sector players do, believes Anupam Shrivastav, CMD, BSNL. It is only possible if the government gives its nod to the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), the sooner the better. Meanwhile, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) issued a letter of comfort for Presidential Sanction of Rs 3500 crore to the state-run telecoms firm to facilitate bank credit, which would help it avail working capital. Anupam shrivastav said this in an exclusive interview given to ET Telecom.

“Salary expenses dragging BSNL down”

“Salary expenses which constitute nearly 65 percent of the revenue, are dragging us down. If we had employees in a ratio similar to private players, we would be a dividend-paying company,” BSNL chairman Anupam Shrivastava said.

BSNL delayed salaries first-time last month

BSNL delayed salaries last month for the first time to most of its workforce, excluding those in Kerala and J&K circles. The ailing telco said it would be able to pay to its staff on Friday by taking out Rs 850 crore from a total of Rs 2,700 crore internal accrual as of this month.
"BSNL has the lowest debt in the industry of Rs 13,000 crore as of last year, compared to market leader Vodafone Idea with 1.2 lakh crore and Bharti Airtel’s Rs 1.06 lakh crore"
“The VRS and asset monetisation are the two key strategies to turn the corner,” the top executive said, adding that it has already started working on a few initiatives aimed at controlling expenses, and has frozen on various services availed by employees, including Leave Travel Concession (LTC) and medical facilities. However, BSNL has the lowest debt in the industry of Rs 13,000 crore as of last year, compared to market leader Vodafone Idea with 1.2 lakh crore and Bharti Airtel’s Rs 1.06 lakh crore.