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At BSNL, over 20,000 employees opt for VRS: Source

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New Delhi: At state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), more than 20,000 employees have opted for the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) since it opened on November 5, a source at the public sector company said on Thursday.  The VRS is part of the government’s revival plan for BSNL and MTNL which was announced by Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad last month.

BSNL VRS plan

The total strength of the workforce at BSNL is 1.5 lakh. The VRS can be availed by employees who have attained the age of 50 years or above. Out of BSNL’s total workforce, at least 1 lakh employees are eligible for availing the benefit.
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The VRS scheme is open till December 3. Speaking to a wire service, BSNL CMD PK Purwar had said on November 6 that the PSU is expecting 70,000-80,000 employees to opt for VRS.

Another source, who spoke to PSU Watch on the condition of anonymity, said that the number of those seeking VRS should not be taken as a final number until the end as there’s an option for employees to withdraw their decision even in the last leg of the offer period.

What is the VRS offering?

The amount of ex-gratia offered by the management to the employees is equal to 35 days’ salary for every completed year of service and 25 days’ salary for every year of service left until retirement.

The backdrop

The government announced the revival of cash-strapped BSNL and MTNL last month. The Union Cabinet gave its nod to the plan for the two cash-strapped companies that included the merger of BSNL and MTNL, raising sovereign bonds, monetising assets and voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for employees.

According to the revival package, after the merger, MTNL will be a subsidiary of BSNL.

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