New Delhi: Over 1,500 employees at state-run Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) have opted for the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), sources who spoke to PSU Watch on the condition of anonymity said on Friday. They also said that even though the cut-off age for opting for VRS was 45 years, most of whom have opted for the scheme are 55 or above. The news comes as the scheme closed on August 13. However, there is still time for employees to withdraw their VRS application on or before August 20. The VRS scheme had opened on July 23.
Ahead of its privatisation, oil major BPCL had offered a VRS to employees above the age of 45 years "with a view to enable employees, who are not in a position to continue in service of the Corporation due to various personal reasons," the VRS offer document accessed by PSU Watch said. The total strength of workforce at BPCL is 11,894.
The BPCL employees opting for VRS would receive a compensation payment equivalent to two months' salary for each completed year of service or the monthly salary at the time of voluntary retirement, multiplied by the balance months of service left before normal date of retirement on superannuation, whichever is less. "Compensation for any part period served in a year will be worked out on pro-rata basis. The salary drawn as on date of release shall be reckoned for this purpose," the document said.
The VRS scheme also said that employees will be eligible for a notice pay of 30 days if the due notice is not given. In addition, repatriation expenses will also be paid in case of retirement. BPCL employees who opt for VRS will also be eligible for medical benefits under Post Retirement Medical Benefit Scheme, if they are not gainfully employed anywhere else.
Provident Fund, gratuity and benefits under Group Saving Linked Insurance Scheme would be paid as per rules of the respective schemes. However, those seeking VRS will not be eligible for Monthly Ex-Gratia payment under 'Monthly Ex-Gratia Scheme' (MEGS), as well as Scheme for Felicitation of retired employees.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had approved the sale of BPCL in November last year. Initially, the last date for EoI submission was May 2, but it was extended to June 13 and then to July 31. The number of shares that the government is looking to sell off stands at 1,14,91,83,592, DIPAM had recently said in a clarification to queries raised by bidders. The disinvestment of Numaligarh Refinery Ltd will be completed before the closing of BPCL privatisation process, DIPAM has said.
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