BSNL to offer VRS to 80,000 personnel

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on October 25, 2019

Merger with MTNL might be completed in 18-24 months

State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is planning to offer the planned Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) to employees above 50 years of age and expects at least 80,000 personnel to avail it. The merger of the two companies — BSNL and Mahanagar Nigam Ltd (MTNL) — is also expected to be completed in 18-24 months.

The likely savings is expected to be about ₹7,500 crore in case 80,000 employees opt for the VRS. In case the VRS, which is expected to be completed by December 31, is a success, then the Public Sector Unit (PSU) might not reduce the retirement age to 58, sources close to the development told BusinessLine.

The proposal under the revival plan was to slash the retirement age to 58 from the present 60 after the implementation of VRS. Under the proposed VRS formula, employees will get 100-125 per cent of the remaining years of service, including pension, they added.

BSNL employs nearly 1.59 personnel as of date, of which nearly 1.06 lakh are aged above 50. The company’s employee costs stood at ₹14,492 crore in 2018-19.

On Thursday, BSNL Chairman and Managing Director PK Purwar and all directors of the company met All the Unions and Associations in BSNL and explained the revival package.

On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet announced a bailout package that included a merger of BSNL and MTNL.

The merger of the two companies will be completed within 18-24 months after addressing all the “contentious issues” such as debt, delisting of MTNL, pay scales and promotion of staff among others. Initially MTNL will become a subsidiary of BSNL, they added.

4G spectrum

The company was to be allocated administrative 4G spectrum through equity infusion at 2016 prices. The 4G allotment will be made in this calendar year, when BSNL’s network is ready for the service.

BSNL is readying 80,000-1 lakh towers in the next 12-15 months at a cost of ₹15,000 crore for 4G services, sources said.

Transferring of employees will be “inevitable and compulsory” as BSNL intends to bring in performance-oriented system, they added.

Published on October 25, 2019

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