On Thursday, Union Minister for Communication, Ravi Shankar Prasad in the Rajya Sabha spoke about how the government is trying to revive BSNL and MTNL which are 'strategic assets of the country.' In the parliament, YSRCP's Prabhakar Reddy Vemireddy raised a question about skilled people leaving BSNL and MTNL due to the Voluntary Retirement Scheme and how the government decides to deal with this. "In view of the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) in BSNL and MTNL, many skilled and technical people are leaving the organisation so I would like to know whether technical and skilled people are going to be employed under contract basis to at least compete with the private operators," asked Prabhakar Reddy Vemireddy.
"BSNL and MTNL are strategic assets for the country, therefore we have decided to revive them. The employee cost of BSNL was 75.06 per cent of revenue, MTNL was 87.15 per cent, Airtel was just 2.95 per cent, Vodafone-Idea 5.59 per cent and Jio 4.27 per cent." "This load had to be revived by proper Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) package and we have given a very attractive VRS package, they are coming," said Ravi Shankar Prasad.
"It is our government's desire and me in particular, to revive it and make it professional," Prasad added. Over 92,000 employees of state-run BSNL and MTNL have so far opted for the recently announced VRS scheme, according to a government source. The source said the scheme and the strong response it has generated marks the biggest milestone in the history of these state-owned corporations. Nearly one lakh BSNL employees are eligible for the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) out of its total staff strength of about 1.50 lakh.
According to the plan, all regular and permanent employees of BSNL including those on deputation to other organizations or posted outside the corporation on deputation basis, who attended the age of 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.