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Tuesday, Sep 03, 2002

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VRS at Delhi Centaur gets good response

Ashwini Phadnis

NEW DELHI, Sept. 2

THE voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), which was offered at the Delhi Centaur hotel, has evoked a good response with more than 680 staff members of the total work force of 1,154 signing up for it.

Official sources told Business Line that 509 hotel employees and 177 employees of Chefair, the flight-catering unit, had agreed to the terms and conditions of the VRS when the offer closed earlier this month. The 1,154 staff employed at the Delhi Centaur includes people working in the staff canteen, the canteen in the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the lounge at the Delhi airport. In contrast, only 95 people of the 550 working the Chefair and dining facility in Mumbai opted for VRS, officials said.

The VRS, which is to be offered only when the property is finally divested, is to cost around Rs 22 crore, with each officer likely to get around Rs 4.5 lakh and a worker around Rs 2.5 lakh apart from their contribution to the Provident Fund and gratuity payment.

"The final payout to each employee should ensure that they are able to run a small business which should provide them enough for living comfortably," a senior Centaur official said.

Every employee who opts for VRS is to be paid 35 days of wages for every year completed and 25 days wages for remaining years of service. As per Government rules, VRS has not been offered to those who have not completed 10 years of service or are below 40 years of age.

It is interesting to note that if the VRS scheme is implemented it will lead to an immediate reduction in the wage bill from around Rs 21 crore to Rs 9-9.5 crore, according to official sources.

The Delhi Centaur is among the two properties of the fully owned subsidiary of Air India (AI), Hotel Corporation of India (HCI), which still remain in Government hands. While the Delhi property is to be divested shortly there is still no news as to what is to be the future of the property in Srinagar.

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