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BSNL to close VRS window today

State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is slated to close the 30-day window of its Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) today, even as a little over 79,000 employees have opted for the scheme. The public sector unit (PSU) had a target of offering VRS to about 80,000 personnel.

The VRS scheme, which opened on November 4, will close at 5:30 PM on December 3.

“A lot of employees have withdrawn their VRS applications after the management persuaded a number of meritorious people to withdraw their application, as most of them had opted for the scheme fearing massive transfers, salary delays and rising work pressure among others,” a source close to the development said.

As of Friday, about 79,025 personnel had opted for the scheme, down from 79,211 employees a week ago.

Also read: BSNL may pay staff’s October salary this month; over 79,000 sign up for VRS

An increased number of personnel under 55 years of age had also opted for the scheme, contrary to the management and unions expectation of personnel aged between 58 and 60 opting for the scheme.

Also read: BSNL staff under 55 years also opt for VRS

“The initial target was to provide VRS to nearly 50 per cent of the staff, when the company’s head count was hovering at about 1.62 lakh. But over the course of time, many retired, reducing the employee count to 1.59 lakh personnel,” another source said.

BSNL was expecting a likely savings of about ₹7,500 crore in case 80,000 employees opt for the scheme. Of the 1.59-lakh personnel it employs now, nearly 1.06 lakh are aged above 50, and are eligible for VRS. The company’s employee costs stood at ₹14,492 crore in 2018-19.

Also read: BSNL may pay staff’s October salary this month; over 79,000 sign up for VRS

Under the proposed VRS formula, employees will get 100-125 per cent of the salary for remaining years of service, including pension, based on the retiring month wage.

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd’s (MTNL) VRS windows is also slated to close today.

Also read: After BSNL, over 13,500 MTNL staff opt for VRS

Earlier in November, the company said its VRS plan surpassed its internal estimates as more than 13,500 employees have opted for the recently-announced scheme so far. 

Source: The Hindu