Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Union Minister for Telecommunication has informed the Indian Parliament that over 92,000 employees of the public sector telecom companies in the country had opted for Voluntary Retirement Scheme. The minister said this as a reply to a question raised in Lok Sabha.
Union minister made it clear that the government will make the two telecom companies profitable as they are strategic assets. The union cabinet has approved administrative allotment of spectrum to BSNL and MTNL for providing 4G services.
Nearly one lakh of employees working in BSNL are eligible for VRS scheme. The total strength of staff in the public sector company comes around 1.60 lakhs. The effective date of voluntary retirement scheme under the present scheme is january 31,2020.
The union government has earlier made it clear that the Bharat Sanchar Nigam limited and Maharashtra based Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) will not be closed and will be merged together. Both the PSUs were debt ridden.
MTNL has a reported losses in nine of the past 10 years and BSNL too had ringing in loss since 2010. The total debt on both companies stood at Rs.40,000 crore, of which half of the liability is on MTNL alone.
BSNL has a total employee strength of 1.60 lakh and MTNL has 22,000 employees.