BSNL reworking 5G trials to suit new norms

State-run BSNL has raised ₹8,500 crore via government-guaranteed bonds, CMD P. K. Purwar said on Monday, adding that the ficompany was reworking its 5G trials proposal to partner with a firm that would not be impacted by the recent curbs on public procurement from countries with common border.

“We got 229 bids [for the bonds] worth ₹17,183 crore,” he said. “The issue was subscribed over 2.02 times of the total issue size and over 17 times of the base issue size of ₹1,000 crore.

“We have accepted bids to the tune of ₹8,500 crore,” Mr. Purwar told reporters.

To a query on BSNL’s application for 5G trials in partnership with ZTE, Mr. Purwar said, “We had applied for 5G. Considering the changes done to General Financial Rules (GFR) provisions we have to revisit our application and we are in the process of doing that.

“At this stage, I will not like to say if I will partner company A or B but we are open to partner with every company which is not adversely impacted by the present GFR provisions.”

He also said 11 out of 14 land parcels, identified by BSNL for asset monetisation, had got approval from the inter-ministerial group.

“The value of those assets is about ₹18,000 crore and those assets are supposed to be monetised in the coming 12-month period,” he said, adding that this could be a challenge given the slowdown in economic activity due to COVID-19.

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