NEW DELHI : As many as 40,000 employees of public sector undertaking Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd have already availed the voluntary retirement scheme in the last three days, and the number is expected to rise in the coming days, a top company official said on Friday.

“We are targeting that 77,000 employees will avail the VRS package," BSNL chairman and managing director P.K. Purwar told reporters at an event in New Delhi.

Out of the company’s total strength of 1.5 lakh employees, nearly one lakh are eligible for the VRS.

The scheme was rolled out on November 5 and will be open till December 3.

All regular and permanent employees of BSNL including those on deputation to other organisation or posted outside BSNL on deputation basis, who attained the age of 50 years or above are eligible to seek voluntary retirement under the scheme.

The Cabinet last month approved a 69,000 crore revival package for BSNL and MTNL that includes monetising their assets and giving VRS to employees. The two operators will also be merged.

The package includes 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 17,160 crore for VRS and another 12,768 crore towards retirement liability.

Sovereign bonds will be issued to restructure debt and meet other expenses. The bonds will have to be serviced by both operators. The two firms will also monetise assets worth 37,500 crore in the next three years.

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