Over 13,500 Staff Opted For VRS Scheme So Far, Says MTNL
Traffic passes mobile phone telecommunications towers in Mumbai. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Over 13,500 Staff Opted For VRS Scheme So Far, Says MTNL

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After Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd., state-owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. on Wednesday said its voluntary retirement scheme plan has surpassed its internal estimates as more than 13,500 employees have opted for the recently-announced scheme so far.

MTNL had initially expected the VRS optees to touch 13,500, but the numbers have already reached 13,532 employees, with nearly two weeks left to go before the closing date for exercising the option.

"We have received a strong response; and so far, as many as 13,532 employees have opted for the VRS scheme. Our internal target had been 13,500," MTNL Chairman and Managing Director Sunil Kumar told PTI.

He promised that the corporation will try to accommodate as many employees as possible.

"We expect the numbers to reach the range of 14,500 to 15,000 by the closing date," he said adding that, in all, 16,300 employees are eligible for the scheme.

In case of BSNL, as many as 77,000 employees of state-owned telecom corporation have opted for the recently launched VRS until now.

MTNL scheme, based on Gujarat model of VRS, will be open for employees till Dec. 3, 2019. It has said that "all regular and permanent employees of 50 years and above as on Jan. 31, 2020" are eligible to opt for the scheme.

The government has approved a plum Rs 69,000-crore revival package for BSNL and MTNL that includes merging the two loss-making firms, monetising their assets and giving VRS to employees so that the combined entity turns profitable in two years.

The Cabinet has approved the plan to combine MTNL - which provides services in Mumbai and New Delhi - with BSNL that services the rest of the nation.

MTNL has reported losses in nine of the past 10 years and BSNL too has been reporting losses since 2010. The total debt on both the companies stood at Rs 40,000 crore, of which half of the liability is on MTNL alone.

Also read: Nearly 70,000 BSNL Employees Opted For Voluntary Retirement So Far

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