BSNL reports Rs1,823-crore net loss in 2009-10

State-owned telecom major Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) today reported a net loss of Rs1,823 crore for the 2009-10 financial year - its first ever -  against a Rs575 crore net profit in the previous year.

BSNL saw its revenue fall 10 per cent to Rs32,045 crore against Rs35,812 crore in 2008-09, its CMD Kuldeep Goyal said.

He said the loss has mainly been due to a Rs2,900-crore payment of wage arrears for the past three years.

"We have implemented the wage revision this year and paid arrears for the last three years and the outgo was Rs2,900 crore," Goyal said.

BSNL would have recorded a profit before tax of Rs703 crore but for the arrears payment, he added.

Goyal, who is retiring today after a 3-year stint as CMD of BSNL, will be replaced by Gopal Das.    
This is the first-ever loss registered by the state-owned telecom company since it was spun off as a separate unit from the Department of Telecom (DoT) in October 2000.
BSNL, however, saw its mobile subscriber base rise to 100 million. It hopes to add 20 million new mobile subscribers in the current financial year.
Goyal said BSNL expects an increase of Rs4,000 crore revenue this financial year, which would bring it back to profit.