Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL), which is amongst India’s largest oil refiners and fuel retailers, will soon be privatised. The Government is selling its entire stake (52.98 per cent). However, members of the 20,000-strong workforce have been offered an opportunity to exit, if they do not wish to continue under a private management. Those aged 45 and above can now opt for voluntary retirement.
Those opting for VRS will receive two months’ salary for each year of service they have completed, or the monthly salary at the time of opting for VRS multiplied by the remaining months of service left before normal date of retirement on superannuation, whichever is less.
The employees will also be entitled to repatriation expenses, which is paid at the time of retirement. They will also be eligible for medical benefits under the post-retirement medical benefit scheme.
They will be able to encash their leaves, including casual, earned and privilege leaves.
Any person who is facing disciplinary action cannot avail VRS. Others who opt for VRS will not be eligible for hiring in the Company’s joint ventures or be allowed to work as retainers/consultants/advisors.
About 5 to 10 per cent of the employees are expected to opt for the scheme, which opened on July 23 and will close on August 13. However, executives of the board and employees who have been hired as sportspersons are not eligible for the scheme.
There are four BPCL refineries in the country, in Mumbai (Maharashtra), Kochi (Kerala), Bina (Madhya Pradesh), and Numaligarh (Assam) with a total capacity of 38.3 million tonnes per annum, that is 15.3 per cent of India’s total refining capacity of 249.8 million tonnes.