tells BSNL to prepare VRS plan|
Taneja / New Delhi June 22, 2011, 0:27 IST|
The department of telecommunications (DoT) has directed
state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd to prepare a voluntary
retirement scheme (VRS) for 50,000 of the latter’s
The move will require a one-time payment of Rs 4,000-5,000
crore, for which DoT would give financial support, a senior
official from the latter told Business Standard.
is part of the government’s measures to get loss-making BSNL
back on the rails. The latter has 280,000 employees, far
higher than the industry standard. Last month, Union
communications minister Kapil Sibal had said the government
would turn around BSNL in the next six months.
About 50,000 of BSNL employees are expected to retire in
the normal course in the next four to five years, the official
When asked, BSNL chairman and managing director R K
Upadhyay said, “The Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector
Enterprises had recommended we give VRS to our employees. The
exercise is still on and we have not taken any decision on it
The need to reduce the workforce was earlier suggested by
Sam Pitroda, advisor to the Prime Minister on infrastructure.
He wanted BSNL to reduce its employee base by about
DoT had earlier directed both BSNL and its sister concern,
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd, to work on reducing staff.
MTNL, which offers telecom services in Delhi and Mumbai, has
asked DoT to clear a VRS to be offered to 15,000 employees in
the current financial year, a third of its workforce. The
proposal has already been cleared by the MTNL board. It has
asked DoT to help with Rs 2,000-3,000 crore for this
However, any proposal for reducing workforce has been met
with strong opposition from the staff unions. Even schemes for
a VRS have been opposed.
For the first time since inception in 2000, BSNL had posted
a loss, of Rs 1,823 crore in 2009-10. It is expected to post
one of Rs 2,500 crore for 2010-11.