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BSNL stares at plunge in profit

New Delhi, Aug. 24: Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) is likely to report a 60-75 per cent drop in net profit in 2002-03 due to a rise in operational expenditure and corporatisation that led to a change in pay structure resulting in financial burden.

If this trouble continues, the company is set to go into the red by the end of this fiscal as predicted by the internal committee of BSNL in its representation to the parliamentary standing committee on communications and information technology.

As per provisional estimates, BSNL’s net profit stood at about Rs 1,500 crore in 2002-03 compared with about Rs 6,000 crore in the previous year. According to company sources, it could be faced with losses in future in case a financial package did not come through.

BSNL’s revenues increased by around 5 per cent in 2002-03 at Rs 25,000 crore against around Rs 24,000 crore in 2001-02.

“But such increases are not likely to stem the drop in net profit. The finance ministry has rejected the proposal to waive spectrum charges and compensation to undertake projects in the non-remunerative areas. We have sought around Rs 40,000 crore in the Tenth Five-Year Plan. It could be placed before the cabinet again,” said a BSNL officer.

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