NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved Rs 1.64 lakh crore revival package for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Union Minister of Railways, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw said. Addressing a media briefing after the cabinet meeting, Vaishnaw said the government is confident of revival of BSNL.
Elaborating on the package, the minister said, "It is a combination of cash support and non-cash support." He said the package announced by the government in 2019 has helped in stabilising the financial conditions of BSNL.
"The attrition of customers has stopped. Revenue which was going down has become stable at Rs 19,000 crore," he said. The minister said the revival package approved by the union cabinet has three elements -- to improve services, de-stress balance sheet and expansion of fibre network.
As part of the de-stressing of the balance sheet, the cabinet has approved a proposal to convert Rs 33,000 crore statutory dues into equity and a similar amount of bank loans will be repaid through the issue of low-interest bonds. The union cabinet also approved a proposal to merge Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) with BSNL.
Through this merger, BSNL will get an additional 5.67 lakh kilometres of optical fibre which has been laid across 1.85 lakh village panchayats in the country using the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). Currently, BSNL has an optical fibre cable network of over 6.83 lakh kilometres.