BSNL unable to pay contract employees for 6 months now

The state-run telecom services provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has been unable to pay its contact workforce since December 2018.

According to highly placed sources, the company is also unable to pay fuel bills to Indian Oil for six months now.

“While the government is saying that they will help us, it seems all optics. They are out to ruin BSNL. We have not been able to pay the contract staff in BSNL for six months now,” a source said.

Multiple sources that DH spoke to, say that BSNL has been facing problems in spending both capital expenditure and operating expenses due to the dearth of money.

Also readBSNL plans to lay off 30% of its contract workforce

“We are having erratic power supply also now. Because of this, many towers don’t function regularly now,” a source said.

The telco is also planning to lay-off 30% of its contract workforce amid increasing financial stress.

The move to reduce contract staff is based on the observations of its audit committee, a meeting of which was happened on August 20.

The sources suggest that more than 2,500 contract employees have been laid off in the past year, due to the financial problems plaguing the company.

Earlier, in its board meeting held in the month of March, the company had approved proposals for reduction of retirement age and voluntary retirement scheme and sent to the government for the nod.

It, however, doesn't see the proposal of reduction in the retirement age going through, due to political and legal hurdles. A major chunk of the ageing working workforce (33,568) would have left the company in case the retirement age is reduced by two years.

VRS, on the other hand, will result in annual savings in the range of Rs 1,671 crore to Rs 1,921.24 crore. It is estimated that VRS will cost the company about Rs 13,049 crore. The company expects that about 20,883 people will take up the VRS scheme.

The telco is likely to issue bonds guaranteed against its huge assets base to finance the voluntary retirement scheme. 

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