Three months after the Modi government had approved a plan to combine MTNL - which provides services in Mumbai and New Delhi - with BSNL that services the rest of the nation; almost 93,000 employees at BSNL and 80% employees at MTNL have opted for the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) offered by the central government.
Out of 1,53,000 employees working for BSNL over half — 78,569 employees in all — have opted for retirement. The VRS scheme was announced by the government in October 2019.
Similarly, MTNL, which had an employee strength of over 18,000, nearly 80 per cent — 14,400 employees — have opted for the VRS.
As per media reports, most of the employees of BSNL who have opted for the VRS are said to be in the non-executive category and in the age group of 55-60 years.
According to the officials involved in the process, the move will not only substantially reduce the financial burden on the loss-laden companies, will also free up real estate that has a potential for monetization.
According to information, the BSNL is planning to generate ₹300 crore by selling its land parcels to the Central Board of Secondary Education and the Irrigation Department in places like Thiruvananthapuram and Bhopal.
Also, MTNL, is in talks with the Income Tax department to lease its building space in various places.
35 days of salary for each year in service and 25 days of salary for each year left until retirement has been fixed for the employees.
The first instalment of the compensation, as per the government sources, which would count 50 per cent of the total payment, would be paid this financial year while the second instalment will be disbursed in the next financial year starting April. To meet the VRS payment, government has allotted ₹37,268 crore in the budget for 2020-21.