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MTNL:Burdened with Unpaid Bills

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VoicenData Bureau
New Update

It's baffling to know that state-run telecom firms like BSNL and MTNL, despite of all sort of government support, losing revenue as well as profit consistently for last few years, but it's more baffling to find that these companies have huge unpaid bills yet to be recovered. And that too, from various members of parliament (MP) and bureaucrats.

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A recent revelation mentions that the unpaid bills of MTNL alone from MPs and top bureaucrats are in excess of `100 crore. The MPs who have not paid their pending bills include some sitting as well as former parliamentarians.



A recent RTI report obtained by veteran RTI activist Subhash Agrawal revealed that more than `7 crore unpaid bill is pending with various MPs, and this pending bill is calculated till September 2011. 'There could be another `3 crore added to this list, if calculated till date,' said a top level executive of the telecom firm. 'Besides, there would be another `100 crore pending against various senior level bureaucrats,' he added.



It's interesting to know that if this unpaid bill is recovered by the state-run firm, it would enable MTNL to pay off one month salary of its entire executive level employees. The firm has a total of 6,000 employees in the executive level graded between E1 to E9, E9 being the highest paid. The employees of E9 draws the maximum salary of more than `1.5 lakh per month where as E-1 employees draw upto `45 lakh a month.

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According to the executive of MTNL, the monthly salary bill for the executive level employees of the company comes around `70 crore.



“Just imagine, there is at least `100 crore unpaid bills from MPs and senior bureaucrats, and if we could recover that it would clear our bills for a month,”said the top level executive.



Under the Housing and Telephone Rules of the MPs Act 1956, at present, each MP is entitled to have 5 telephone connections at different places including 2 mobile connections. And at present each MP is entitled to 150,000 free calls per year. Bills within this quota of calls are paid by the Parliament Secretariat and beyond are paid by the individual MPs to the respective service providers.

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The telecom firm is going through a rough phase for quite some time now and they have been posting losses for last three fiscal years in a row. For the fiscal year 2011-12, the PSU operator posted a net loss of `4,000 crore on a revenue of `3,595 crore.



Hence taking account of the situation, the PSU is taking steps for its survival in the telecom industry. Some of the measures include reducing its employee strength of 45,000 (as on December 31, 2011) by 15,000 through a voluntary retirement (VRS) scheme.

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