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

State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) hope to achieve the targets for the recently announced voluntary retirement scheme by the 3 December deadline.

Over 92,000 employees of state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) have so far opted for the Voluntary Retirement Scheme announced by the government, a report in the Hindu Business Line quoted official sources as saying.
Nearly one lakh BSNL employees of its total staff strength of about 1.50 lakh.were eligible for VRS. The effective date of voluntary retirement under the present scheme is 31 January 2020. The ‘BSNL Voluntary Retirement Scheme - 2019’, rolled out recently, will remain open till 3 December. BSNL hopes to save 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 3 December 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.