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Bharti Airtel to pay April salaries of nearly 25,000 staff employed by distributors, retail franchisees

Bharti Airtel has decided to pay the basic income for April to nearly 25,000 employees of its distribution partners and retail franchisee network to help them tide over the unprecedented situation arising out of the ongoing lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19.

In a letter addressed to distribution partners in Delhi NCR, Airtel said it is “acutely sensitive that this sudden lockdown has also reduced your (distribution partners) operations and returns during April.

“In order to help you tide over this tough time, we plan to extend a onetime support for the month of April. This is done with an endeavour to ensure that your FSE (field service executive) and other frontline colleagues get their basic income.”

Similar letters have gone out from various circle CEOs to distributors (of mobile connection and recharges), and retail franchisees network in other locations.

While sources said that the move is expected to benefit about 25,000 employees of Airtel’s distribution partners, the total monetary outgo for the company on this count could not be ascertained.

“We are all going through an unprecedented situation requiring a lockdown, due to which we are seeing a sharp drop in our business as well.

“This disruption has impacted many categories sharply. In a way we are fortunate that we are associated with an industry that helps keep the ‘lights on’ – thereby, keeping the country connected and people in touch with their loved ones,” said the Airtel letter seen by PTI.

It added that the company is absolutely confident that once the lockdown is over by 3rd May, it will spring back and win in the market place.

According to a source, Airtel has also provided free Covid-19 insurance to all field service executives working with its distributors, as a gesture of gratitude. In addition, Airtel will continue to offer scholarship schemes for children of its distributors with the aim of supporting their families.

The support to distributors and franchisee partners is part of ‘Atoot Bandhan’ campaign of the company.

India, last week, decided to extend lockdown restrictions till May 3, to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, which has so far claimed 543 lives and infected 17,265 people.

Bharti Airtel has said it is extending validity of 30 million low-income prepaid customers till May 3. These customers will now be able to receive incoming calls on their Airtel mobile numbers even after the validity of their plan is exhausted, it had said.

―Money Control

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