Economy

More than 60,000 employees of BSNL, MTNL opt for VRS

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on November 08, 2019 Published on November 08, 2019

More than 57,000 BSNL employees and 4,000 MTNL employees have opted for voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), a senior government official said on Friday.

“Out of the target of 83,000 people, around 57,000 employees of BSNL have opted for VRS till this (Friday) evening and so have around 3,500 employees of MTNL, out of the target of 15,000. This shows that the scheme was well thought out,” Anshu Prakash, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications, told reporters here on the sidelines of an event.

The government had opened the VRS scheme on November 4 for both the public sector units and till Thursday, BSNL had received over 22,800 applications through the company’s portal.

While BSNL has around 1.60 lakh employees across the country, MTNL has around 22,000 staff in Delhi and Mumbai. The VRS scheme is based on the Gujarat model and is open till December 3.

This is one of the biggest incentive schemes planned by the government on VRS and has also received extra-ordinary responses from the employees of both the companies, said another senior official adding that government has decided for a liberal way out instead of closing down the companies or selling off to a third party.

According to ‘BSNL Voluntary Retirement Scheme - 2019’ all regular and permanent employees of BSNL including those on deputation to other organisations or posted outside BSNL on deputation basis, who attended the age of 50 years or above are eligible to seek voluntary retirement under the scheme.

BSNL is looking at savings of about ₹7,000 crore in wage bill, considering around 80,000 personnel opt for the scheme. The amount of ex-gratia for any eligible employee will be equal to 35 days salary for each completed year of service and 25 days salary for every year of service left until superannuation, as per the VRS scheme.

In a notice issued by MTNL to employees recently, it mentioned that ‘all regular and permanent employees of 50 years and above as on January 31, 2020’, are eligible to opt for the scheme.

The Cabinet on October 24 had approved the plan to merge MTNL - which provides services in Mumbai and New Delhi - with BSNL that has services across the country.

The revival package approved by the government includes infusion of ₹20,140 crore for purchase of 4G spectrum, ₹3,674 crore for GST to be paid on spectrum allocation, companies raising ₹15,000 crore in debt on the sovereign guarantee and government funding ₹17,160 crore VRS and another ₹12,768 crore towards retirement liability.

Published on November 08, 2019
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