Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a Rs 89,047 crore revival package for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). The package includes the allotment of 4G and 5G spectrum to the telecom service provider through equity infusion. The government has also decided to increase the authorised capital of BSNL to Rs 2,10,000 crore from Rs 1,50,000 crore.
A government press release stated, “BSNL will emerge as a stable telecom service provider focused on providing connectivity to remotest parts of India.”
“With this spectrum allotment, BSNL will be able to provide pan India 4G and 5G services, 4G coverage in rural and uncovered villages under various connectivity projects, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services for high-speed internet and services/spectrum for Captive Non-Public Network (CNPN),” the release stated.
This is the third revival package for BSNL. The government announced the first package worth Rs 69,000 crore in 2019 followed by a Rs 1.64 lakh crore package in 2022. The first package brought stability in BSNL/MTNL while the second package provided financial support for capex, viability gap funding for rural landlines, de-stressing the balance sheet, settlement of AGR dues and merger of BBNL with BSNL, the press released added.
According to government data, BSNL has posted a rise in revenue in the last three financial years. Its revenue rose from Rs 18,595 crore in FY 21 to Rs 20,699 crore in FY23. It also posted operating profit of Rs 1,559 crore in FY 23. The government also informed that BSNL’s debt has reduced from Rs 32,944 crore to Rs 22,289 crore.