New Delhi–  Pre-tax losses of telecom companies have broadened to Rs 38,153 crore during financial year 2016-17 from Rs 1,699 crore in the previous fiscal, the Parliament was informed on Wednesday.

“Based on audited/unaudited information submitted by telecom service sector companies to TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), the profit before tax (PBT) for the telecom service sector companies has decreased from Rs (-) 1,699 crore for the financial year 2015-16 to Rs (-) 38,153 crore for the financial year 2016-17,” Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

He said for the financial year 2016-17, 24 out of a total of 50 companies have shown losses before tax.

“Government ensures healthy competition in telecom sector. Recently, TRAI has reiterated the regulatory principles of non-predatory, non discrimination and transparency in tariff offers vide Telecommunication Tariff (63rd Amendment) Order, 2018 on February 16, 2018,” Sinha said.

According to data provided by Sinha, losses of MTNL for 2016-17 stood at Rs 2,941.08 crore and that of BSNL at Rs 4,793 crore. (IANS)