At final call, around 92,700 BSNL, MTNL staffers opt for VRS

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on December 04, 2019

The government’s bait seems to have paid off, with 92,685 employees of BSNL and MTNL opting for the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) that opened on November 4 and closed on December 3.

The scheme was launched through the companies’ portals after the Cabinet approved it, on October 24. The Cabinet had also approved a plan to merge MTNL (which provides services in Mumbai and New Delhi) with BSNL, which operates across the country.

Down to a fourth

“A total of 14,383 employees out of the eligible 16,370 employees opted for the VRS. Their last day in office will be January 31, 2020,” a senior MTNL official told BusinessLine.

This means just 4,117 employees will remain with the organisation, against the current strength of 18,500.

PK Purwar, CMD of BSNL, said around 78,300 employees had applied for the VRS as of Tuesday evening, but the company will take time till Wednesday to get the exact numbers. BSNL has an employee strength of around 1.6 lakh.

“It could be anywhere between 78,300 and 78,500 f out of the total eligible number of 83,000 employees,” he said, adding that many have also withdrawn their VRS applications, so an exact number will be known later.

Withdrawal of applications

The withdrawal happened over the past few days, after the management persuaded meritorious employees to reconsider their decision. Most of them had opted for the scheme fearing massive transfers, salary delays and rising work pressure, among others.

However, sources from both the companies confirmed that the window for applications has been closed and an extension is unlikely.

While BSNL had a target of around 83,000 employees for the VRS, MTNL’s stood at 15,000. The scheme was open till 5.30 pm on Tuesday.

Under the scheme, all regular and permanent employees of the company including those on deputation to other organisations, or posted outside BSNL on a deputation basis, aged 50 years or above, were eligible to seek voluntary retirement. They will get 100-125 per cent of the salary for the remaining years of service, including pension, based on the retiring month wage.

BSNL was expected to save around ₹7,500 crore if 80,000 employees opted for the scheme. Its employee costs stood at ₹14,492 crore in FY19.


Published on December 03, 2019

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