After suffering delayed salary payments for months, employees of the cash strapped Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) have welcomed the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) with open arms. More than 70,000 have opted for it since it was rolled out recently.
While launching the scheme, BSNL had hoped that about 77,000 employees would go for the scheme, the closing date for which is 3 December, 2019. The organisation will be saving almost Rs 7000 crore in salaries if about 70,000-80,000 employees take up VRS, out of the one lakh that are eligible for the same. The scheme is applicable to all permanent and regular staff of BSNL, including those deputed to other organisations or posted externally on deputation and are 50 years old or more.
Right now, BSNL owes salaries to its employees, that amount to about Rs 850 crore a month. As per the offer, the amount of ex-gratia paid to those opting for the scheme will equal 35 days’ salary for each completed year of service plus 25 days’ salary for every year of service left until superannuation.
As part of the programme to revive BSNL, which operates across the country, the Government has decided to merge it with Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL), which has operations in Delhi and Maharashtra. However, MTNL will function as a subsidiary till all the necessary merger processes have been accomplished.
Both these organisations have been struggling to stay afloat in the face of financial problems.