- BSNL and MTNL have issued over Rs 10,000 crore for workers who opted for voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) that closed on 3 December 2019.
According to a source, state-run telecom companies, BSNL and MTNL have issued over Rs 10,000 crore for workers who opted for voluntary pension schemes. A total of 78,569 BSNL staff and 14,387 MTNL staff have opted for the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) that closed on 3 December 2019.
“BSNL released Rs 4,100 crore exgratia on Friday and Rs 4,900 Crore on Monday for leave encashment. Similarly, MTNL also released Rs 1050 Crore for payment of leave encashment, EPF, CPF and gratuity,” the Ministry of Communications said in a statement on Monday.
In October, the government approved Rs 29,937 crore for the company’s VRS (Rs 17,169 crore due to ex-gratia on VRS and Rs 12,768 crore due to pre-payment of 10-year pension benefits).
The move was aimed at reducing the telecom PSU’s wage load and curbing its losses.
During the period April-December 2019, BSNL’s loss swelled by more than 2,5-times to Rs 39,089 crore.
In the previous financial year 2018-19, the public sector telecom firm had posted a loss of Rs 14,904 crore.
After the Government announced a voluntary retirement scheme for employees of BSNL & MTNL in order to save the organizations. More than 50,000 employees of the State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) opted for the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS).
“Out of the target of 83,000 people, we have made, 50,000 employees have opted for VRS and 3,000 employees of MTNL, out of the target of 15,000 people. This shows that the scheme was well thought out,” Anshu Prakash, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications said at that time.
In October, to revive loss-making telecom PSUs BSNL and MTNL, the government decided to merge the two ailing companies as part of a turnaround package that includes increasing employee sovereign bonds, monetizing capital and voluntary retirement scheme (VRS).
State-run telco BSNL has launched its digital payment service, Bharat InstaPay, nationwide for its channel partners. The digital payment platform is driven by SBI, which will enable all types of BSNL channel partners to digitally do all their payment transactions on a 24 X 7 basis.
BSNL said it had merged its IT platform with SBI’s banking platform to start the service. “Each BSNL channel partner has been issued a unique Digital I d for making digital payments,” said P.K. Purwar, CMD, BSNL.