NEW DELHI :
Over 77,000 employees of state-owned BSNL have opted for the recently launched VRS so far, people familiar with the matter said.
Nearly 1 lakh BSNL employees are eligible for the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) out of its total staff strength of about 1.50 lakh. The effective date of voluntary retirement under the present scheme is 31 January 2020.
A BSNL official told PTI that the number of employees who have opted for the VRS till now has crossed 77,000. The 'BSNL Voluntary Retirement Scheme - 2019', that was rolled out recently, will remain open till 3 December. BSNL is looking at savings of about ₹7,000 crore in wage bill, 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, who attended the age of 50 years or above are eligible to seek voluntary retirement under the scheme.
The amount of ex-gratia for any eligible employee will be equal to 35 days salary for each completed year of service and 25 days salary for every year of service left until superannuation.
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) too has rolled out a VRS for its employees. The scheme, based on Gujarat Model, will be open for employees till December 3, 2019.
The Union Cabinet had last month approved a plan to combine MTNL — which provides services in Mumbai and New Delhi — with BSNL that services the rest of the nation.
The rescue package approved by the government 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 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 has reported losses in nine of the past 10 years and BSNL too 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.