State-owned telecom firm BSNL has directed its circle heads not to carry out works at Department of Telecom offices in their regions without advance payments or prior permission from the head office here.“It is hereby directed not to carry out any work on behalf of DoT without receipt of written sanctions from DoT and without advance payment for carrying out such work,” according to an internal letter issued from BSNL corporate office last week to circle heads. BSNL is a public sector unit under the DoT and was created after government carved out services from the Department in 2000. The letter asked BSNL Chief General Managers to instruct all the unit heads of their circle including civil engineering and electrical wings to “strictly comply with these instructions”.
The letter said: “The claims are raised on DoT after completion of the work and in most of the cases such amounts remain unrealised and thus appear outstanding amount in the books of accounts as claims recoverable from DoT.” According to BSNL employee union representatives such unpaid bills are estimated to be over Rs 300 crore. ”BSNL is, on one hand, taking loans for undertaking capital works and is paying interest on such loan amounts and on the other hand there is no reimbursement for the works executed on behalf of DoT. This situation leads to the double financial burden on BSNL and weakens the financial position of BSNL,” the letter said. It further said that the balances appearing in the claims recoverable from DoT always invites queries from the auditors. ”These circles are generally unable to provide satisfactory reply to auditors for such huge outstanding due to non-availability of written sanction of DoT. This result in audit qualifications. Such audit qualifications has been appearing in the accounts year after year,” the letter said.A BSNL official said that DoT head office here is finding it difficult to pay for works that have not been budgeted or sanctioned by it. ”If DoT circle offices take prior permission from DoT headquarters then it will be convenient for BSNL to carry out work,” the official said.