- S Africa widens hunt for Zuma allies to India, China
- India best placed to leverage technology: PM
- DMK to convene 'all-party' meet on Cauvery issue
- Pak charges Rs 2.86L as route navigation charges on PM flights
- Mentally challenged person shot dead near J&K Air Force station
- FIR against Rotomac promoter for Rs 800 cr bank fraud: CBI
- PNB fraud fallout: CBI seals Brady House Branch in Mumbai
VRS for MTNL, BSNL employees likely soon
In a move to revive the cash-strapped State-run Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), the Government is likely to announce Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) for their employees soon. Those employees who are willing to avail such benefits must come under an eligibility criteria in which the beneficiary must have completed 31 years of total service or must have attained an age of 55 years in the organisation.
“The long-pending demand has been in Department of Telecom (DoT) for long time now. During the previous Government regime, the representatives of both MTNL and BSNL had submitted their request to avail the VRS benefits. At present, keeping the Government’s revival mode in view for these two State-owned telcos, the DoT is examining such proposal minutely. I think the VRS is a viable option to cut costs for which we are planning a favourable VRS plan for their employees soon,” a Government functionary involved in the process told The Pioneer on Tuesday.
When asked about the criteria of the scheme, he added, “We are not sure about the age cap or number of years in service which is yet to be fixed by the Government, but we expect the age criteria would be either completion of 31 years of total service or attaining the age of 55 years in the service. It is still in the works and it will be considered soon in consultation with a select panel in the Government.”
In a bid to generate good revenue and set off losses, MTNL and BSNL have prepared the VRS for around 1.15 lakh employees -15,000 for MTNL and 1 lakh for BSNL - which may cost the Government around Rs24,000 crore only. Besides, it has already taken slew of other measures to cut costs.
When contacted on this issue, a senior MTNL official said, “We have prepared a VRS for our employees, aimed at reducing its workforce by around 15,000 at present. As for BSNL, around 1 lakh out of total 3 lakh employees will be benefitted in the scheme. Though the estimated Government expenditure likely to be incurred on VRS, MTNL will reduce pressure on its huge wage and salary pay-out per annum”, he said.
MTNL is hopeful that the Government will consider it as soon as possible. “The Government has to spend only Rs23, 600 crore - Rs3,600 crore for MTNL and Rs20,000 crore for BSNL for this scheme. We expect that there is revival plan for the MTNL in few months as the Government is taking all possible measures for these two telcos in particular,” he added.
When asked about the Government’s concern that it is facing huge fund crunch in almost all departments, the MTNL official said, “The Government is earning huge money on auctions and other means. So, I do not think mere spending Rs24,000 crore on VRS will be problem for the concerned ministry. MTNL has alone given Rs60,000 crore to the Government from its funds through licence, taxes, dividends and other forms. So the scheme will help Government revival and cutting costs as well.”
The VRS move of the Government has been welcomed by the MTNL, but it has been opposed by BSNL staff association for long. “We welcome the Government’s move, but BSNL employees are not happy because they have huge number of staff and they oppose the staff cut, fearing a job loss. They feel that the VRS would not benefit them much in some way or the other,” the official said.
The debate on saving state-run BSNL and MTNL has been going on for the past several years by merging them together to synergise operations, is one approach amongst many.
Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved hiving off BSNL’s tower assets into a separate company in order to provide huge financial relief to State-run telecom companies. The Government has offered Rs6,27.20 crore as compensation to BSNL and its metro counterpart MTNL for surrendering CDMA spectrum that was auctioned in March this year.
The Cabinet green signal to the proposals is set to alleviate financial situations of the two public sector units that had posted massive losses in the previous financial year. BSNL’s unaudited loss for the year ended March 2015 stood at Rs7,265 crore, while MTNL posted a loss of Rs2,893.39 crore.
- United India Insurance's net profit at `306.27 cr during April-Dec last year 19 Feb 2018 | PNS
- FPIs' net outflow from equities hits $1 bn so far in February 19 Feb 2018 | PTI
- Uncertainty looms over mega petrochemical project in AP 19 Feb 2018 | PTI
- Five of top-10 firms take Rs 38,724 cr hit in m-cap 19 Feb 2018 | PTI
- India's finished steel export slides over 30% in Jan 19 Feb 2018 | PTI
- Impact of GST on restaurant industry positive, says survey 19 Feb 2018 | Manoj Raghuvanshi
- CII-IBA Q4 Financial Conditions Index up over 2016-17, falls below Q3 19 Feb 2018 | IANS
- Coal import rises by 12% to 18 million tonnes in January 19 Feb 2018 | PTI
- Incentives for green tech, artificial intelligence likely 19 Feb 2018 | PTI
- RIL plans Rs 60k-cr digitial industrial area in Maharashtra 19 Feb 2018 | PTI
Sunday EditionView All
18 Feb 2018 | Gwynne Dyer
Now that Jacob Zuma has finally exited, the African National Congress, which has fallen a long way from its glory days, has one last chance to rebuild its reputation before next year’s election. Whether the ANC is the best bet for South Africans is a different question altogether As a passer-by in the upscale Johannesburg suburb of Saxonwold observed, the South African Police would never have raided the enormous, high-walled compound...
STATE EDITIONSView All
19 Feb 2018 | SURESH NIKHAR | Bokaro
A police team of Bokaro Thermal police station headed by inspector cum officer-in charge Parmeshwar Leyangi on Sunday morning conducted raids at Ganjutola in Armo forest area here and seized approx 2.5 tonnes of illegal coal along with their 4 motorcycles and 5 cycles,said Bokaro SP Kartik S...