85,000 BSNL Employees Will Retire Today: India’s Biggest Retirement Drive To Save Rs 1772 Cr/Yr!

85,000 BSNL Employees Will Retire Today: India's Biggest Retirement Drive To Save Rs 1772 Cr/Yr!
85,000 BSNL Employees Will Retire Today: India’s Biggest Retirement Drive To Save Rs 1772 Cr/Yr!

As per the reports coming in, more than 78,000 employees of BSNL will retire on January 31, in one of the largest retirement drives in the country. 

How Did This Happen?

By reducing the number of employees is one way for the cash-strapped PSU to find a way out of the financial crisis they find themselves lodged in now.

According to  BSNL Chairman and Managing Director P.K. Purwar “Approximately 78,300 employees have opted for the VRS as per data received from all the circles till the closing of the scheme. This is as per our target. We were expecting a reduction of 82,000 headcount. Besides VRS applicants, around 6,000 employees also retired,”. 

After this, there would be around 85,000 employees left after the retirement drive. 

The official said that the voluntary retirement scheme of BSNL and MTNL had closed in December, with over 92,700 employees opting for it. 

How Does The Voluntary Retirement Scheme Of BSNL and MTNL Work?

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

Also, 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.

As per the records, around 78,300 employees of BSNL and 14,378 of MTNL have opted for the scheme as the PSUs had set December 3 as a deadline for employees to opt for VRS.

What Does BSNL/MTNL Say About This Event?

The MTNL Chairman and Managing Director Sunil Kumar informed that the PSU has exceeded the target set for VRS.

He said “14,378 employees have opted for VRS against the target of 13,650 employees. This will reduce our annual salary bill from Rs 2,272 crore to Rs 500 crore. Now we are left with 4,430 employees which is sufficient to run our business,”.

Earlier, the Union Cabinet had approved the plan to combine MTNL—which provides services in Mumbai and New Delhi—with BSNL that services the rest of the nation.

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

Apart from that, the two firms will also monetize assets worth Rs 37,500 crore in the next three years. 

MTNL has recorded losses in nine of the past 10 years and BSNL too has been ringing in losses since 2010. 

While talking about the total debt, both the companies stood at Rs 40,000 crore, of which half of the liability is on MTNL alone.

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