Shri G L Jogi, General Secretary, Sanchar Nigam Pensioners’ Welfare Association
PSBs have been worst sufferers because of loans taken by telecom companies – Airtel, Jio, R Com, Idea Vodafone. Loans taken by these telecom companies from public sector banks (PSBs) amounted to about Rs. 6 lakh crores.
Because of highly illegitimate predatory pricing that R Jio was allowed to indulge in by the government, havoc was created in the telecom sector, with the result Airtel, Vodafone, R Com publicly declared that because of predatory pricing by R JIO, they will not be servicing the loans of PSBs to the tune of about Rs 5 lakh crores and they did not.
The net result was that this debt of telecom operators towards PSBs turned into NPAs and were finally written off. Because of massive write off of Rs. 5 lakh crores, the government had to infuse capital to make PSBs healthy and profitable.
Not only this, Rs 1.5 lakh crores that these private operators had to pay to the government because of non-payment of AGR (Aggregate gross revenue) to the government were completely waived off by the government last year. This was in total disregard and contempt of the Supreme Court judgements which rejected SLPs (Special Leave Petitions) of these operators, pleading for the payment of AGR in instalments and directed them to pay entire amount of Rs 1.5 lakh crores to the Government.