The Union Cabinet approved a Rs 1.64 lakh crore revival package for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) on Wednesday, according to Union Minister of Railways, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw.
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 stated that the government’s 2019 package has helped to stabilise BSNL’s financial situation.
According to the minister, the revival package authorised by the union cabinet includes three components: improving services, de-stressing the balance sheet, and expanding the fibre network.
The cabinet has accepted a plan to convert Rs 33,000 crore in statutory dues into equity, and a comparable amount of bank loans would be repaid through the issuance of low-interest bonds as part of the balance-sheet de-stressing.
The union cabinet also authorised the merger of Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) with BSNL.
Through this merger, BSNL would receive an extra 5.67 lakh kilometres of optical fibre that has been deployed throughout the country’s 1.85 lakh village panchayats utilising the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
BSNL now has a 6.83-mile optical fibre cable network.