Over 77,000 employees of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) have sought voluntary retirement under the 'BSNL Voluntary Retirement Scheme - 2019'. Of total staff strength of about 1.50 lakh, nearly one lakh BSNL employees are eligible for VRS. The effective date of voluntary retirement under the present scheme is January 31, 2020.
A BSNL official said that the number of employees who have opted for the VRS till now has crossed 77,000. The VRS scheme will remain open till December 3.
BSNL is eyeing savings of about Rs 7,000 crore in wage bill, if 70,000-80,000 personnel opt for the plan. All regular and permanent employees of BSNL including those on deputation to other organisations or posted outside the corporation on deputation basis aged 50 or above are eligible to seek voluntary retirement under the scheme.
35 days salary for each completed year of service and 25 days salary for every year of service left until superannuation will be paid to an eligible employee as ex-gratia. Another PSU telco Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) has rolled out a VRS.
The scheme which is based on Gujarat Model, will be open for employees till December 3, 2019. "This will bring down our employees cost to 25 per cent of revenue from 85 per cent at present by February. We expect to be EBIDTA positive within 2 years due to this step," said MTNL Chairman and Managing Director Sunil Kumar.
Infographic: Will BSNL, MTNL merger bring losses to an end?
On October 23, government had approved the merger of BSNL with Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) in order to save the two ailing state-owned telecom companies. Under the plan, government has decided to put in Rs 29,937 crore for revival of BSNL and MTNL, as well as monetise their assets worth Rs 38,000 crore.
Along with this, the government had approved a VRS offer, the cost of which will be borne by the Centre through budgetary support. The government has also approved allocation of 4G spectrum to public sector telcos that will be funded by the government by capital infusion of Rs 20,140 crore. The government will also bear GST for this spectrum, amounting to Rs 3,674 crore, through budgetary resources. Government is, additionally, planning to raise a sovereign bond of Rs 15,000 crore for their revival.
By Aseem Thapliyal
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