BSNL Facing Staff Shortage After 90,000 Employees Took VRS; Can Mobile Services Disrupt?

BSNL Facing Staff Shortage After 90,000 Employees Took VRS; Can Mobile Services Disrupt?
BSNL Facing Staff Shortage After 90,000 Employees Took VRS; Can Mobile Services Disrupt?

The State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd’s (BSNL) Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) got such a success that now it is likely to create a shortage of hands, as now around 13,305 executives has already opted for this scheme.

How Did This Happen?

As per the report, around 4,000 executives have opted for the separation scheme, which more than the target by 40%.

But the maximum number of applications came from the non-executive cadre.

Now the new issue has taken the focus as the Public Sector Unit (PSU) would face at an operational issue in case they plan to accept all applications from the executive cadre, as per the information given by the Sanchar Nigam Executives’ Association (SNEA), an employees’ union at BSNL.

How Would It Affect?

In a letter to the BSNL Chairman and Managing Director, P. K. Purwar, SNEA said “these executives have been in the forefront of maintaining the network for the last so many months, even paying from their own pockets. Among them, a large number of officers have many years of service left. It will be an uphill task to maintain the network and provide quality services in the post VRS scenario,”.

Apart from that, there is a large number of personnel from the middle-level management including assistant general managers, chief accounts officers, executive engineers and deputy general managers also have opted for the VRS. 

It will create a vacuum as these personnel are spread across circles and divisions.

Moreover, it would become difficult for the PSU will to maintain and operate telephone networks, optical fiber cables and external plants (telephone lines and network outside the exchanges).

What Is The Solution?

As a solution, the management had decided to outsource these to private contractors.

But that will take at least 3-6 months to materialize and maintaining the network even after that would be a challenge.

A letter signed by SNEA General Secretary, Sebastin K, said “BSNL’s top management and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) may be happy about the success of the VRS, but the realities on the field are entirely different,”.

“This will have an adverse impact on BSNL’s revival plans,” He added.

Why Are They Asking For Withdrawal Of VRS Application?

SNEA has also appealed to the BSNL management to coax the “willing and meritorious officers” to withdraw their VRS applications because they can play an important role in the PSU’s revival.

He added, “Their experience and commitment will become an asset for BSNL,”. (Reference)

Before this, around 5,000 personnel who had initially opted for the scheme, had to withdraw their application as the deadline ended.

The reason given by the executive’s union – the employees are worried about the future of the company as it has not provided any time frame for payments to labourers, landowners and contractors, and electricity payments.

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