Companies

Aircel bankruptcy: BSNL approaches DoT for recovery of dues

PTI New Delhi | Updated on April 01, 2018 Published on April 01, 2018

bl17_Aircel_RCo+G721JM4N5.3.jpg.jpg

State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has approached the Communications Ministry for recovery of its outstanding dues from the troubled telecom firm Aircel, which recently filed for bankruptcy.

The telecom PSU, in a letter to the Department of Telecom (DoT), has also said it is exploring options including legal remedies for recovery of its outstanding dues of about Rs 42 crore. The move comes at a time when Aircel has filed for bankruptcy citing “troubled times” in the “highly financially stressed” industry.

When contacted, BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava confirmed that the company had written to DoT, flagging the issue of outstanding dues of Aircel. “As regards to recovery of outstanding dues, BSNL could recover Rs 32 crore from bank guarantees (BG) and balance will be recovered after reconciliation of some other BGs held by us or by BGs held by Government of India or through legal process,” Shrivastava told PTI. Aircel did not respond to an e-mail query.

In its communication to the DoT, BSNL said that following Aircel and Dishnet Wireless filing for bankruptcy, the state-owned telecom corporation had moved swiftly to recover the outstanding amounts through follow-ups and invoking available bank guarantees furnished by them. The outstanding dues related to various arrangements such as inter-operator settlements like call connect usage charges, tower sharing and intra-circle roaming pacts.

BSNL has said that while it has been able to recover Rs 32.2 crore, the net outstanding amount now stands at Rs 42 crore as of March 28, 2018. The company has said it is exploring other options, including legal remedies, for recovering balance amount.

It has also sought the government’s intervention for recovering the balance outstanding dues “by way of setting off any excess amounts of the company that may be available with the Department of Telecommunications”.

Aircel announced in February that it has filed for bankruptcy. The telecom operator had said that intense competition following the disruptive entry of a new player, legal and regulatory challenges, high level of unsustainable debt and increased losses had together caused significant “negative business and reputational impact” on the company. The company had also stated that it believes resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is an “appropriate recourse” given the circumstances.

BSNL’s Shrivastava said that the telecom corporation has been able to port in about 35 lakh Aircel customers. As per the latest report by telecom regulator, BSNL had 9.40 per cent share of mobile services market as on January 31 and added 3.96 lakh customers during that month. The corporation’s losses stood at Rs 4,793 crore during 2016–17, lower than Rs 4,859 crore in 2015–16 and Rs 8,235 crore in 2014–15.

Published on April 01, 2018

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.