An inter-ministerial group has requested that the government loan funds to loss-making state-backed telcos Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) to pay a portion of their salary bills, the Economic Times writes, citing an unnamed senior official. The government is reportedly considering issuing soft loans totalling INR85 billion (USD1.36 billion) at a token rate of 1% interest over a ten-year period to help pay employees absorbed from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). Total staffing costs for BSNL are expected to reach INR140 billion for 2013-14, whilst MTNL is predicted to pay out INR19 billion in salaries for the year.
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