State-controlled telecom services provider Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd said it has sought permission from the Department of Telecom to sell some of its assets to pay down debt.

“In order to come out of the debt, the management of MTNL is considering the proposal for asset monetization, i.e., lease or sale of real estate and buildings, lease or sale of towers, duct etc.,” the company said today.

It was elaborating on what its chairman and managing director PK Purwar told PTI yesterday.

The company has a debt of around Rs 19,000 cr.

“The proceeds of asset monetization can be utilized for debt reduction. For this, we have requested the Department of Telecommunications to grant us necessary approval,” it added.

MTNL, being among the oldest telecom providers in India, owns crucial pieces of real estate, including office buildings, exchange buildings and tower locations, in Delhi and Mumbai.

The company has been making losses for several years due to high employee expenses.

While private telecom companies spend about 6-7% of their total revenue for paying salaries, MTNL spends about 80%, leaving it with very little money to invest into its network and improve its infrastructure.

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