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BSNL seeks lower licence fee, temporary spectrum in 18-point wishlist

Also wants revenue from LWE zones, hilly areas to be excluded while computing adjusted gross revenue

Kiran Rathee  |  New Delhi 

BSNL building
BSNL said it needs government support for availability of ~8,000-10,000-crore capital over a period of time

In order to cope with the financial stress it is facing, state-run telecom player has presented an 18-point wishlist to an inter-ministerial panel. Its demands include temporarily allotment of 2100 MHz spectrum for 6 months to a year, allocation of 700 MHz airwaves and reduction in license fees.

The panel, formed to look into the telecom woes of the telecom sector, is meeting industry players this week in order to understand their problems. Apart from BSNL, another government-owned firm, MTNL, met the panel today.

Presenting its viewpoint, told the panel that it should be allocated 5 MHz spectrum in the 700 MHz band by the government through the equity route. The telecom firm says temporarily allotment of airwaves in 2100 MHz for 6 months to a year will enable it to move its 3G services to 4G. An official said the government has enough airwaves in 2100 MHz that can be spared for a period of 1 year.

The state-run operator also says that since it has a social obligation to offer services in all the areas including non-profitable areas such as Left-Wing extremism (LWE) zones and hilly regions, the revenue collected from such areas should not be calculated as part of the adjusted gross revenue.

A official said most private players have not been offering services in such areas, but is obliged to, being a state-run operator.

has also submitted its point of view to the panel. The operator, which offers services in Delhi and Mumbai, wants to monetise its land parcels to generate additional revenues.

Both the state-run firms though want lower license fees and spectrum usage charges.

CMD said the company needs government support for availability of Rs 8,000-10,000 crore capital over a period of time. has also sought the government's help to take care of its employee costs. Citing the example of Airtel, and other private operators, Purwar said these companies are being supported by their promoters.

The government is the promoter of and hence "should not be found wanting" in support with regard to capital requirements of the telecom company.

First Published: Wed, June 14 2017. 01:48 IST