The West Bengal government owes Rs 46 million to BSNL, CM Mamata Banerjee's intervention sought: Official

KOLKATA: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) said the government owed the telecom operator 46 million rupees and also urged the state to accelerate the payment as it faced a cash crisis.

With its inability to recover the fees, the telecommunications company that has no cash has not been able to meet its own payment obligations, said BSNL (Bengal Circle) CGM, Ramakant Sharma, on Monday.

The state government owed Rs 46 million and we asked the chief secretary of state to expedite the payment of fees with the various departments, he said.

BSNL Bengal Circle, which had not been able to liquidate the energy quotas of Rs 17 crore to West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company, also looked for the moratorium until March 2020, he said.

We have sought a moratorium until March 2020 for the payment of energy quotas and we ask the state not to cut the electricity connection, otherwise the BSNL telecommunications service will collapse, Sharma said.

BSNL appreciated that under the current situation it will not be able to meet the obligations of the energy bill in its entirety until next March, he said.

In the last 2-3 months, we have not been able to pay the electricity bills in full. Now, the fees are Rs 17 crore. We have asked the state government to give more time and the fees will be settled in the next 4 installments after March 2020, he said.

BSNL Kolkata Circle CGM Biswajit Paul said his power shares were Rs 8-10 crore to CESC and WBSEDCL.

However, he said the fees were not alarming and that so far there had been no problem with the two utilities.

BSNL sources said the Union minister, Ravishankar Prasad, wrote to the chief ministers of several states, including West Bengal, seeking his intervention to grant the moratorium to the state telecom operator.

The Center approved a plan to revive the sick PSU telecommunications operator and also presented a VRS scheme that received good responses from employees.