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Last Updated : Oct 23, 2019 07:04 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Cabinet approves VRS package for BSNL, MTNL employees: Ravi Shankar Prasad

The Department of Telecom (DoT) had earlier said it forwarded a proposal to the Cabinet, recommending VRS for BSNL and MTNL employees above 50 years of age

The Cabinet October 23 cleared a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) package for employees of troubled state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telecom Nigam (MTNL).

Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar made the announcement during the Cabinet briefing on October 23.

"If an employee is 53.5 years, and he opts for VRS until the age of 60 years computed, the salary/pension/ gratuity will be 125 percent," said Prasad.

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The Department of Telecom (DoT) had earlier said it forwarded a proposal to the Cabinet, recommending VRS for BSNL and MTNL employees above 50 years of age.

"The DoT is preparing a Cabinet note for seeking its approval to grant VRS to BSNL and MTNL employees. The Department is going to immediately approach Election Commission for its nod to approach the Cabinet," a government official told reporters.

BSNL has 1.76 lakh employees across India and MTNL has 22,000. It is estimated that 16,000 MTNL employees and 50 per cent of BSNL staff will retire in the next 5-6 years.

The VRS for BSNL and MTNL could have a revenue impact of Rs 6,365 crore and Rs 2,120 crore, respectively.

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Distressed telecom firms MTNL and BSNL have been incurring losses and have been facing problems in clearing staff salaries in the recent past.

BSNL's loss is estimated to be around Rs 14,000 crore with a decline in revenue to Rs 19,308 crore during 2018-19.

The public sector firm's provisional loss was Rs 4,859 crore in 2015-16, Rs 4,793 crore in 2016-17, Rs 7,993 crore in 2017-18 and is estimated to swell to Rs 14,202 crore in 2018-19, according to information presented in Parliament. The number of employees in BSNL stood at about 1,65,179.

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First Published on Oct 23, 2019 04:44 pm
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