Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd is all set to emerge as a major service tax payer to the central government with the amount expected to touch Rs 1,800 crore (Rs 18 crore) during 2003-04.
BSNL paid Rs 1,700 crore (Rs 17 billion) to the Centre as a service tax from customers till February and is likely to touch around Rs 1,800 crore in the current fiscal, S D Saxena, director (finance), BSNL, said in Bhopal on Monday.
Saxena told newsmen that the amount given by BSNL as service tax collection constitutes 20 to 25 per cent of total service tax earned by the Centre and it is "mainly due to the hardwork and sincere efforts on the part of BSNL personnel."
BSNL is poised to earn a profit of Rs 3,000 crore (Rs 30 billion) during 2003-04 despite suffering a loss of about Rs 70 crore (Rs 700 million) in its operations in Madhya Pradesh, which is a big state requiring investments in unremunerative and remote areas, he said.
On the other hand, states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have recorded impressive profits, he said, adding: "Our operations will not be affected due to the loss because we are committed to serve the people."
Madhya Pradesh Telecom Circle has provided several services exclusively for the forthcoming "Simhastha (kumbha) Mela" including three additional GSM mobile BTSS in Ujjain for better coverage and for handling high traffic.