After BSNL, MTNL says over 13,500 opted for VRS so far

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. Photo/Facebook (mtnlindia)

After BSNL, state-owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) on Wednesday said its VRS 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 voluntary retirement scheme (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 the case of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), as many as 77,000 employees of state-owned telecom corporations have opted for the recently launched VRS until now.

Read: Over 77,000 employees have opted for BSNL VRS: Official

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) scheme, based on the Gujarat Model of VRS, will be open for employees till December 3, 2019. It has said that "all regular and permanent employees of 50 years and above as on January 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 Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (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. 

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