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Bharat Sanchar charts two annual plans

New Delhi, Jan. 28: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, the state-owned telecom service provider, has sent two separate annual plans for approval to the Planning Commission for the financial year 2003-04.

The telecom public sector unit has sought an approval for a plan outlay of Rs 12,285 crore in the first proposal that includes Rs 1,589 crore that the entity expects to get in the form of reimbursement of licence fee and spectrum charges. The second proposal is for a plan outlay of Rs 10,519 crore without the spectrum charges.

Sources in the communications ministry said, “The two proposals have been made to account for the possibility of the finance ministry deciding to remove the provision of reimbursement of licence fee and spectrum charges.”

BSNL has also reduced its net receipt of Universal Service Obligation fund from Rs 2,839 crore in the first proposal to Rs 2,200 crore in its second proposal.

According to a note prepared by the communications ministry, “Due to reduced outlay in 2002-03 (revised estimate), the physical targets have been reduced that will lead to a deficit in Direct Exchange Lines (telephone connection in urban areas) by 8.44 lakh.”

BSNL has set a target of installing 57.20 lakh DELs during 2002-03 (as per revised estimates and 64.11 lakh DELs during 2003-04.

A senior official in BSNL said, “We are already in a difficult situation, which is likely to become worse over a period of time.

Since we expect the burden on us to increase further due to the recent Trai tariff proposal, that could be more than a Rs 1000 crore.”

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