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Cash-strapped BSNL is waiting to get Rs 14 cr from govt for Digital India work order

PW Bureau

The cash-strapped telecommunication firm had introduced broadband connectivity to all 761 gram panchayats across Nagpur district around a year back Nagpur: As state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) struggles to improve its finances, it is still waiting to be paid for bringing the entire Nagpur district under digital connectivity around a year back. The cash-strapped telecommunication firm had introduced broadband connectivity to all 761 gram panchayats across the district. However, BSNL has not yet received its dues of over Rs 14 crore against the total bill of Rs 19.49 crore for the work done.

Funds to be paid as per availability

The order for the continuation of WiFi access in 500 gram panchayats across Nagpur was given to BSNL by the district collector’s office, and the installation of 261 WiFi access points came in June. However, the work order did not give any commitment regarding the schedule of the payment. Instead, a clause said that money would be paid according to the availability of funds. This move was under BSNL’s Digital India initiative, which put Nagpur at the forefront. However, out of what was due to the telecom firm, it has only received Rs 5 crore.

BSNL took up the order because it came from govt

BSNL might not have taken up the order because of the said criteria: payments would be made according to the availability of funds. However, it chose to carry on with the plan since the order was from the government’s side. The recovery began three months later, given that the payment can be received on a quarterly basis. Since the amount had already been billed from BSNL’s side, it had to pursue the state government for recovery, a source said, adding that if the money is not realised, it will finish off with a mismatch in the accounts, a source said.