Image courtesy: Outlook India

Telecom giant Nokia has threatened to pull out support for maintaining BSNL’s network if its dues worth Rs 910 crore are not cleared immediately.

The company, which controls nearly 40 per cent of BSNL’s network, has also warned about job losses as it will be forced to terminate employees, who are dedicated to the state-run firm, according to reports.

BSNL has not made payments to Nokia since March, despite its commitment to clear the dues in monthly installments by September 2020.

“Given the COVID situation we are now under tremendous financial crunch and it would not be possible for Nokia to infuse any further capital in maintaining the installed equipment and hence continue any further support including AMC (annual maintenance contract) services,” Nokia said in a letter to BSNL Chairman and Managing Director PK Purwar, a copy of which was also marked to Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash.

Nokia said BSNL has huge outstanding payments due to it and this keeps on augmenting with expiry of each payment milestone month-on-month. Currently, BSNL has an outstanding of Rs 910 crore out of which Rs 600 crore is pending for allocation since January 2020.

“The non-payment by BSNL has adversely affected our cash flow which will now force us to take some major cost cutting measures to sustain ourselves in these difficult times, including terminating our employees dedicated to BSNL account,” Nokia said in the letter.

It further said Nokia has large number of employees dedicated to BSNL and for the last four months, the company has been retaining them in an attempt to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s direction to support staff in COVID crisis.

“However, given the continued default from BSNL, we are now being forced to explore such options,” Nokia added.

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