State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has been receiving a good response to its Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), with over 22,800 employees applying for it as of Thursday evening.
“The response has been excellent and the management and the workers’ unions are expecting this momentum to continue till the closing date. There are a lot of enquiries also coming on to BSNL’s portal, a sign that the scheme is expected to be a success,” a source close to the development told BusinessLine.
The VRS scheme, which had opened on November 4, will close at 5.30 pm on December 3. The Public Sector Unit (PSU) intends to offer the scheme to employees above 50 years of age and expects at least 80,000 personnel to avail it.
Separately, the ailing PSU has also not credited October salary, which it pays on the last working day of the month, as of today. “The salary issue has not yet come to the discussion table with both the unions’ and the managements’ focus now being on the VRS initiative,” the source added.
At Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), the other telecom PSU, a little over 1,000 employees have applied for the scheme as of Wednesday, a different source said. The numbers as of Thursday evening were not immediately available.
“The employees of both BSNL and MTNL are under duress to opt for the VRS as the management are threatening them with mass transfers and reducing retirement age to 58, while a delay in salaries is another reason,” AK Kaushik, convener of United Forum of MTNL Union and Association (Delhi-Mumbai), told BusinessLine.
About 15,000 out of the total 22,000 employees at MTNL were estimated to be eligible for the scheme, which was expected to bring down employee costs to 25 percent of revenue from the present 85 percent by February.―The Hindu Business Line