New Delhi: Reeling under financial stress, state-run Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) has not been able to pay its staff salaries for the months of July and August. Sunil Kumar, who recently assumed additional charge as MTNL CMD, said that the company is making a sincere effort to release at least a portion of the dues at the earliest.
"Salary payment for two months…July and August are pending, we have cleared it (wages) till June," said Kumar. "We are trying sincerely to release at least one month's salary at the earliest," he added.
On being asked how the ailing company intends to clear salary obligations, MTNL CMD said that the PSU is looking to pay it from accumulated revenue. "The deadline for us was as of yesterday….We are sincerely considering whatever is possible, and to do it as early as possible. We cannot give any timeframe but we are trying very hard," Kumar said.
Both MTNL and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) have been incurring losses and are struggling to stay afloat without government support. The loss-making PSUs have approached the Department of Telecom for help but the government is yet to provide them with a lifeline.
The two PSUs spend a big chunk of their revenues on employee cost — BSNL spends 75.06 percent and that of MTNL is 87.15 percent of their total income.
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The corresponding figures for BSNL's and MTNL's private competitors vary between 2.9 to 5 percent. Then public sector companies are now planning to cut down the overhead cost by offering voluntary retirement schemes (VRS) to its ageing employees.