Over 18,000 BSNL staff opt for VRS

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The VRS option will remain open till December 4.

Within days of the state-run telecom operator BSNL opening its voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), over 18,400 employees have opted for it. The loss-making PSU had rolled out the scheme for its employees, following the Union Cabinet nod to a nearly ₹70,000 crore revival package for BSNL and MTNL last month. This included ₹30,000 crore for VRS for the two firms.

For BSNL employees, the VRS option will remain open till December 4. The scheme was opened on November 3. “Till 7 p.m., over 18,400 BSNL employees, of the over 1 lakh eligible staff, have opted for VRS,” a source told The Hindu. BSNL has a staff strength of about 1.5 lakh people.

The company expects 70,000-80,000 people to opt for the scheme, which will lead to a saving about ₹7,000 crore in the wage bill.

According to ‘BSNL Voluntary Retirement Scheme – 2019’ all regular and permanent employees of BSNL who are aged 50 years or above are eligible to seek voluntary retirement under the scheme.

The amount of ex-gratia for any eligible employee will be equal to 35 days salary for each completed year of service and 25 days salary for every year of service left until superannuation.

The other telecom PSU — MTNL, which operates only on Delhi and Mumbai, too has rolled out a VRS for its employees. The scheme, based on Gujarat Model of VRS, will be open for employees till December 3, 2019.

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