Employees of Tulip Telecom have intensified protests against the company for not paying salaries due for nearly a year.
A section of staffers told Business Line that more than 100 of them have been congregating outside Tulip’s offices in New Delhi and Mumbai.
A company spokesperson did not comment on the protests but admitted that it has been facing difficulties in making payments. However, she reiterated that a part of the dues have already been paid.
“Tulip signed the master restructuring agreement under the corporate debt restructuring process a few months back but is still awaiting release of funds. While the company continues to clear part salaries, it expects to clear about two-month salaries after release of bank funds,” the spokesperson said in an email response.
Tulip had approached 13 of its lenders during October-December last year for recasting its debt of nearly Rs 3,000 crore. The lenders approved of the package and the company will now have to clear the loans over the next 12 years.
In August, Hardeep Singh Bedi, Chairman and Managing Director, said the company would begin the process of clearing the dues of its 4,500-odd employees. Despite operational troubles, Tulip says it ‘remains committed to its employees and values the employee interests.’
Over the last few years, the company has been accumulating short-term debt due to heavy investments in data centres coupled with working capital requirements. However, these investments did not bring in the expected revenues, say analysts.
Tulip had defaulted on redemption of foreign currency convertible bonds worth $140 million due in August last year, apart from delaying salaries. Ultimately, it used proceeds from the sale of its stake in the joint venture with Qualcomm to repay this debt.