The scheme, which commenced on October 18, will close on November 8

There have been no takers for the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) offered by the Bangalore Stock Exchange (BgSE), which last month sought permission from the Securities and Exchange Board of India to close down.

An employee, who has been working with the BgSE for over 29 years, told The Hindu that the “paltry amount offered by the management is the main reason why not a single employee has applied for the scheme”. The scheme, which commenced on October 18, will close on November 8.

Counter-argument

Manjit Singh, Executive Director, BgSE, countered the employees’ claim saying that the “package,” consisting of the VRS and terminal benefits — superannuation benefits, Provident Fund and Gratuity, would cost the company about Rs. 1.5 crore.

Terminal benefits

However, another employee said that terminal benefits ought not be included in the VRS package. “The management is not doing us a favour by paying us Gratuity and PF, they are due to us anyway,” she said.

“Although we can understand the angst of employees who have worked for many years, they also need to appreciate that superannuation does not feature in most VRS packages,” retorted Mr. Singh.

Recent case

He referred to the recent case of a multinational bank that offered a VRS package to 300 employees in which no superannuation benefits were offered.

Mr. Singh also pointed out the superannuation benefit has not featured in any of the VRS schemes offered by any of the other exchanges that have filed for de-recognition by the SEBI. “In fact, many of the banks do not offer this,” he said.

Mr. Singh said the VRS package would cost the BgSE about Rs. 44 lakh. An employee alleged that the average of Rs. 4.4 lakh per employee “is paltry, considering that many of us have worked for many years”.

Yet another employee pointed out that the VRS package, which is based on the level of basic pay and dearness allowance, is small because the basic pay levels are low in the BgSE.

“Moreover, the annual increments have been very small for many years,” she said. “I am now over 50. I have spent the better part of my life here and am unlikely to find employment anywhere else after this,” she said.

“The offer is anything but a golden handshake, it is only a cruel joke,” she said.