The Hindu Business Line

DoT to move Cabinet note on offering VRS to BSNL employees

- S RONENDRA SINGH

The Department of Telecommun­ications (DoT) will move a Cabinet note in a few days on the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) option for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) employees.

Only after the approval of the Cabinet, the DoT will take a final call, a senior official said here.

There were reports of BSNL board approving recommenda­tions on reducing the retirement age to 58 from the current 60.

‘Will move at earliest’

The VRS offer will lead to exit of around 54,000 staff (30 per cent of total strength).

However, the DoT official said it won’t happen soon and will be done as per some procedures. The voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) offer will lead to the exit of around 54,000 BSNL staff, which is 30 per cent of the total strength

“We will be moving to the Cabinet in the following days for a note to give 4G spectrum to BSNL, and to give an attractive VRS package to the employees. We will try and move it the earliest, once we get the clearance from the Election Commission,” the official said.

The official also clarified that the VRS option will be

available to employees who are “above 50 years of age”.

“It (VRS) will be offered to anyone who is above 50 years. We will have to give VRS option, but don’t know how many will accept it too. So it will be for anybody who accepts it,” the official said.

Repeated calls and messages to Anupam Shrivastav­a, Chairman and Manging Director, BSNL remained unanswered. As per 2017-18 annual report, BSNL had 1,83,522 employees, including both executive and nonexecuti­ve, and as of now around 1.76 lakh employees are there.

According to sources, most of them are retiring by March 31, and the maximum of the current strength is also above 50 years of age.

The loss-making company had recently said the pending February salaries of its 1.76 lakh employees have been cleared.

The company also said it will aggressive­ly focus on increasing its market share and revenue with attractive schemes.

For 2017-18, the company reported a net loss of ₹7,993 crore, although income from services had grown to ₹22,668 crore.

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