BSNL has notified a voluntary retirement scheme days after the government approved its merger with MTNL. The VRS offer is valid till December 3 and is expected to help save Rs 7,000 crore in wage bill.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) expects 70,000-80,000 employees to opt for the VRS scheme, Chairman and Managing Director PK Purwar was quoted as saying by PTI. The employees who opt for voluntary retirement will receive 35 days salary for each completed year of service and 25 days of salary for every year of service left till superannuation.
According to 'BSNL Voluntary Retirement Scheme - 2019' all regular and permanent BSNL employees aged 50 years or more, including those on deputation to other organisation or posted outside BSNL on deputation basis, are eligible to avail VRS. This makes around one lakh BSNL employees, out of its total staff strength of 1.50 lakh eligible for the VRS scheme.
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. Government of India 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.
Earlier this week, MTNL rolled out a voluntary retirement scheme for its employees valid till December 3. The scheme has been based on Gujarat Model of VRS. The company expects 15,000 out of its 22,000 employees to opt for the VRS.
"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.
Combined service optees at MTNL will get ex-gratia plus admissible pension of up to 125 per cent of their salary. Pro-rata optees will also get the same benefit as combined service optees having same period of service completed and remaining. MTNL recruited employees will get ex-gratia up to 100 per cent of salary.
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