Over 92,000 working at BSNL, MTNL opt for voluntary retirement

The recently announced scheme will remain open till December 3 for employees aged 50 or above

Over 92,000 employees of State-run BSNL and MTNL have so far opted for the recently announced Voluntary Retirement Scheme, according to a government source.

The source said the scheme and the strong response it has generated marks the biggest milestone in the history of these corporations. Nearly one lakh BSNL employees were eligible for VRS out of its total staff strength of about 1.50 lakh. The effective date of voluntary retirement under the present scheme is January 31, 2020. The ‘BSNL Voluntary Retirement Scheme - 2019’, rolled out recently, will remain open till December 3. BSNL was looking at savings of about ₹7,000 crore in wages, if 70,000-80,000 personnel opt for the scheme.

According to 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. The amount of ex-gratia for any eligible employee would equal 35 days salary for each completed year of service and 25 days salary for every year of service left until superannuation.

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) has also announced VRS for its employees. The scheme, based on the Gujarat model, would be open for employees till December 3, 2019. The Union Cabinet had approved a plan last month to combine MTNL, which provides services in Mumbai and New Delhi, with BSNL that caters to the rest of the nation.

The rescue package approved by the government includes an infusion of ₹20,140 crore for purchase of 4G spectrum, ₹3,674 crore for GST to be paid on spectrum allocation, companies raising ₹15,000 crore in debt on the sovereign guarantee and government funding of ₹17,160 crore for VRS and another ₹12,768 crore towards retirement liability.

The two firms will also monetise assets worth ₹37,500 crore in the next three years. MTNL reported losses in nine of the past 10 years and BSNL has been ringing in loss since 2010. The total debt on both companies stood at ₹40,000 crore, of which half of the liability is on MTNL alone.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 5:06:03 PM |

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