New Delhi: State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will get financial benefit of about Rs1,200 crore annually with the exemption of license fee on fixed line telephony.
BSNL has annual revenue of about Rs15,000 crore annually from its fixed line operations and the PSU pays on an average 8-9% of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) as license fee to the government.
“In fact, BSNL has contributed much more in the Universal Service Obligation (USO) Fund instead of getting subsidy from the government for the fixed line operations,” BSNL CMD Kuldip Goyal told PTI.
Now things are getting corrected. “I am really happy with the announcement of our minister A Raja. Exempting fixed line services from the AGR’s purview, our rural expansion plans and also in other parts of the country would get a major boost,” Goyal said.
BSNL’s financial viability had taken a major hit after the removal of subsidy in terms of Access Deficit Charge (ADC), a levy paid by private players to the PSU to carry out rural operations.
The PSU was getting the ADC to the tune of Rs5,000 crore annually till about two years ago from private players but now it has been completely waived with effect from April this year.
BSNL is fulfilling various social obligations of the government and has to operate in loss making rural areas, the officials said adding the PSU received only Rs4,650 crore from the USO fund during 2002-06, while it contributed Rs8,031 crore towards it.
This was a distortion in the policy and has been corrected with the minister’s decision to exempt fixed line telephony from license fee.