BSNL seeks legal view to recover Rs 42 crore from Aircel

State-run telecom carrier Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. has sought legal opinion to further recover Rs 42 crore from the bankrupt telco Aircel.

“BSNL has already encashed various bank guarantees worth Rs 32.22 crores. We are trying to find legal framework for encashing guarantees kept for other activities such as interconnection usage charge (IUC) and porting,” BSNL Chairman Anupam Shrivastava told ETTelecom

Shrivastava said that Airtel owes BSNL some Rs 42.5 crores on account of intra-circle roaming (ICR), interconnection usage charge and tower sharing.

In March this year, Aircel- weighed by debt of some Rs 50,000 crore amid dwindling revenue and mounting losses – had filed for bankruptcy protection at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

Shrivastava said that the state-driven telco has already informed the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) about the unsettled amount that the Chennai-based firm is required to pay.

Aircel is currently being run by an interim resolution professional – Deloitte’s Vijaykumar Iyer – who is looking at ways to monetize the telco’s assets to pay off debt. Iyer however had told the banks that their loans worth Rs 19,000 crores could not be rescued unless Rs 200 crore was pumped in urgently to maintain the telco’s infrastructure and run operations.

Mobile tower partner GTL Infrastructure alone has sought to recover nearly Rs 1,000 crore from Aircel.