NEW DELHI: On a day when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked India Inc. to refrain from “large-scale lay-offs”, global travel and payment services major American Express announced that it had sacked “less than a hundred employees” in India to restructure its workforce as part of its global strategy.

“The number is less than a hundred,” American Express India’s Public Affairs and Communications Director Vibha Bajaj told PTI on Monday evening.

Earlier in the day, there were reports of about 200 India-based employees of the US firm having been handed pink slips by the management of India operations. However, the company spokesperson had declined to comment on the development.

The company had, however, said in a statement that “reduction will occur throughout the company and across business units, markets and staff groups, primarily focusing on management and other positions that do not interact directly with customers”.

Those laid off, according to information available, were mainly working in the back offices of the company in Delhi and Bangalore, sources said.

Asked whether those “less than a hundred” laid-off employees included managers and senior managers, Ms. Bajaj answered in the affirmative but she did not respond to a query whether the number included director-level officers as well. - PTI