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BSNL May Cut 54,000 Workforce

BSNL is reportedly mulling to cut 54,000 workers by reducing the retirement age to 58. According to a report published in Deccan Herald, BSNL will also provide voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) to its employees.

Citing sources the report further told that in a board meeting which is scheduled on February 15, the members are likely to discuss on these points.

If implemented, the move is likely to reduce the employee count of the BSNL by 33,568 employees which would save BSNL an estimated amount of Rs 13,895 crore over the next six years.

Earlier, BSNL has frozen its employee benefits.

Out of Rs 2,500 crore savings annually, one fourth i.e, Rs 625 crore are employee benefits. BSNL has been struggling to manage its financials because of a huge employee base that stands at around 1.8 lakh with annual expenses of Rs 15,000 crore.

BSNL has also submitted a preliminary report by IIM Ahmedabad for the revival of the company. A final report will be submitted soon. Among other measures, the report suggests giving VRS (voluntary retirement scheme) to about 35,000 employees at a cost of Rs 13,000 crore.

One of the biggest challenges for BSNL has been its large workforce. Even with the change in technology, the headcount stands has been on a higher side. While other telecom players have about 25,000-30,000 employees, BSNL has over five times that number.

The entry of Reliance Jio in the telecom space in late 2016 has pushed the financials of incumbents, including that of BSNL, on a downward spiral, apart from triggering a consolidation phase in the industry where now only three private players are left along with BSNL/MTNL. BSNL and MTNL have been posting losses and struggling to survive in a hyper-competitive market.

According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s data for July-September 2018 quarter, barring Reliance Jio, all the telecom players posted a fall in AGR (adjusted gross revenues) from access services. Vodafone Idea reported a decline of 8.49% at Rs 7,528.37 crore, Bharti Airtel saw a dip of 1.31% at Rs 6,720.88 crore and BSNL recorded a 15.32% drop at Rs 1,925.33.―DNA India

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