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PMO has agreed in principle to bailout BSNL, MTNL: Source

BSNL chairman Anupam Shrivastava also went on record to say that the government was 'seriously considering' allotting 4G spectrum to BSNL and a lucrative VRS scheme is being worked out

New Delhi: The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) is believed to have agreed in principle to bail out the two state-owned telecom companies which are making losses and reeling under debt — Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL). The Centre is actively working on a plan to revive through a three-pronged plan that involves a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), allocation of 4G spectrum to BSNL and reduction of debt, a source said.

'VRS would be optional'

The source also denied a report that emerged in the morning on Thursday of BSNL planning to lay off 54,451 employees. “The government in close coordination with the BSNL Board is actively engaged in working out the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) with attractive benefits,” the official said. He added that the offer is optional and employees who have attained the age of 50 years can opt for it voluntarily. The VRS scheme being chalked out for BSNL and MTNL employees is expected to impact the revenues by Rs 6,365 crore and Rs 2,120 crore, respectively, according to government estimates.
BSNL chairman Anupam Shrivastava also went on record to say that government was 'seriously considering' allocating 4G spectrum to BSNL and a lucrative VRS scheme is being worked out for employees.

BSNL CMD says govt working with them

BSNL chairman Anupam Shrivastava also went on record to say that government was 'seriously considering' allocating 4G spectrum to BSNL and a lucrative VRS scheme is being worked out for employees. "Laying off of employees is not at all under consideration," Shrivastava said. BSNL has a total of 1.75 lakh employees, while MTNL has 22,000.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL)

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is an Indian state-owned telecommunications company headquartered in New Delhi. It was incorporated on October 1, 2000, and assumed the business of providing telecom services and network management from the erstwhile Central government’s Departments of Telecom Services (DTS) and Telecom Operations (DTO) on October 1, 2000, on a going-concern basis. It was the first largest Indian telecom service provider and profit-making PSU till 2005.