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Plea For BSNL Support

Union Government has requested Odisha Government to extend support for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), which is facing acute financial constraints is not able to pay the electricity dues in time and accumulated dues are running to Crores.


BSNL, State Owned Telecommunication Giant is facing serious financial difficulties and not in a position to pay the accumulated electricity dues to the Distribution Companies.
 
So DISCOMs are harping on payment of dues and there is fear of disruption of power supply to the BSNL Establishments.
 
Under this backdrop, Anshu Prakash, Secretary Telecommunications has requested the State Government to support the State Owned Telecom Entity, which is providing communication service to the State, both Urban and Rural Areas.
 
BSNL coverage in rural areas is more than the other Telecom Service Providers and BSNL is running over 23,000 Rural Telephone Exchanges.
 
Disconnection of electricity due to non-payment of charges to Mobile Towers, Telephone Exchanges and offices, will cause serious disruption in telecom services, apprehend senior officials.
 
Union Secretary has requested to the State Government to allow moratorium period for payment of dues towards electricity bills.
 
While Government of India is working out ways and means to support BSNL, it has urged the State Government to allow moratorium period till 31 March, 2020.
 
In the meantime DISCOMs are needed to be restrained from disconnection of power supply to the BSNL Mobile Towers, Telephone Exchanges and Offices, said a senior official.
 
As Union Government is taking steps for extending support to BSNL, BSNL will be able to pay the dues after 1 April 2020.
 
And Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has requested to allow Four quarterly Installments.
 
Interest, Penalty and Surcharge for late payment may be waived as BSNL is rendering major telecommunication services in Inaccessible Rural Areas, where other Service Providers are not going, said an official.
 
BSNL is covering hilly, remote and inaccessible areas of the state, where BSNL Phone and Mobile is the only source for the local people.
 
Sources in Department of Energy said looking at the fiscal crisis of BSNL, State Government is not going for disconnection of electricity supply to these establishments.
 
During natural calamities, BSNL has stood by the State Government and looking at the service provided by State Owned Telecom Service Provider, harsh action are not being taken, officials say.
 
Odisha, which faced Super Storm Fani on 3 May, which affected 14 districts at that time BSNL came to rescue of the State Administration, while providing services and restoring it at an early time.
 
SMS Service through BSNL came as a big service, however BSNL has slapped a huge bill on the State Government for SMS Charges, though DoT had asked to make it free, said sources.
 


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