New Delhi: State-run telecom firm BSNL is not only facing a crunch in adding additional customers due to lack of capacity, but is also yet to recover Rs4,174 crore outstanding arrears from existing users.
Another public sector firm, MTNL, has not fared much better either and has to collect Rs1,228.67 crore from customers as on 30 June, according to official estimates.
This means, BSNL’s arrears are slightly less than half of its net profit of Rs8,940 crore during 2005-06 and 10% of its revenue of Rs40,177 crore in the same year. For MTNL, the outstanding dues are comparable to its first quarter revenue for this fiscal at Rs1,280 crore and nearly ten times its net profit of Rs110.90 crore.
BSNL is to recover Rs3,628.57 crore from landline users and Rs545.71 from mobile users. The company has also been difficulty in adding new mobile subscribers due to lack of additional GSM capacity. However, BSNL officials said it has a strong collection mechanism and arrears were only 1.6% and 7.5% of total billed amount for landline and cellular services respectively.
MTNL, the operator in Mumbai and Delhi, has to recover Rs1,228.67 crore till June this year. This consists of Rs1,065.29 crore from fixed and Rs163.38 crore from mobile users.
To recover these dues, BSNL plans to disconnect users who have not paid bills. Besides, heads of circles have been authorized to appoint private recovery agents on commission basis. The PSU has also asked the circles to file civil suits against defaulters where the outstanding amount is over Rs25,000 despite reminders.
MTNL also employs private agents to recover dues and has been able to get about Rs5 crore. It is also finalising the convergent billing system to improve collections.