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BSNL may pay staff’s October salary this month; over 79,000 sign up for VRS

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on November 22, 2019 Published on November 22, 2019

An increased number of BSNL’s personnel under 55 years of age have also opted for the scheme   -  BL

State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd’s (BSNL) Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) has been opted by about 79,100 employees as of Friday, but is still shy of its target of 80,000 people. Separately, the public sector unit is expected to pay employees salary for October either on 28th or 29th of this month.

“On the VRS front, while there is a rise in people opting for the scheme, many employees who had earlier registered have withdrawn their applications. The management’s decision is to keep the scheme till the earlier deadline of December 3,” a source close to the development told BusinessLine.

The management had to persuade a number of “meritorious people” to withdraw their VRS application, as most of them had opted for the scheme fearing massive transfers, salary delays and rising work pressure among others. All of these people can play an important role in BSNL’s revival, another source said.

As of November 13, as many as 77,500 personnel had opted for separation scheme. BSNL was expecting to save about Rs 7,500 crore by offering the scheme to 80,000 employees above 50 years of age.

Also read: BSNL close to achieving VRS target

BSNL employs nearly 1.59 lakh personnel as of date, of which nearly 1.06 lakh are above 50 (eligible for VRS). The company’s employee costs stood at Rs 14,492 crore in 2018-19.

An increased number of personnel under 55 years of age have also opted for the scheme, while the management and unions were expecting personnel aged between 58 and 60 to opt for the scheme.

Also read: BSNL staff under 55 years also opt for VRS

The Public Sector Unit (PSU) might foot October salary end of this month, probably by November 28 or 29. These would be credited from the cash inflows, mainly received from operations, a third source said.

“The salary issue will continue for another couple of months, as BSNL’s priority now is to complete the payment – statutory payments, life insurance and pension among others – of personnel opting for VRS by January 31, 2020. Once this is settled, the management would be able to normalise salaries,” the person quoted above said.

Separately, Sanchar Nigam Executives Association (SNEA) has called for a promotion of employees, especially to executives opting for VRS.

Published on November 22, 2019
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