Around Rs 37,268 crores have been allocated by the government in the Union Budget 2020-21 for the VRS payment.
State-run telecoms Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) are in the soup as they face staff shortages and operational losses, more than a year after nearly 93,000 opted for voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) of the central government.
Reportedly, the various field and other offices of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) are seeking clarification from the Telecom Ministry on whether the employees who opted for VRS can be "rehired as consultants," reported The Indin Express.
Citing a senior government official, the publication said that the DoT has asked to put all such recruitment of BSNL and MTNL employees who opted for VRS to be put on hold until it examines the matter.
"This matter is presently under examination in DoT HQs (headquarters) and guidelines in this respect would be issued as and when the decision on this matter is taken. Till then, applications of retirees of BSNL/MTNL under VRS-2019 may not be considered for engagement as consultants," an official communication of the DoT said.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
The VRS offer was thrown for staffers of BSNL and MTNL for about a month in November 2019 and the last date in office for all such employees who opt for the scheme was January 31, 2020.
Nearly a half of BSNL employees (78,569 of 153,000) and 80 percent of MTNL employees (14,400 of 18,000) took the VRS option.
Reportedly, the government aims to undertake the new VRS model for BSNL and MTNL for the next 10 financial years and aims to slim staff strength at BSNL to below 50,000 for BSNL and at 2,600 for MTNL in 2027-28. The numbers take into account new hires, retirements and VRS.
Around Rs 37,268 crore have been allocated by the government in the Union Budget
2020-21 for the VRS payment.