BSNL plans to lay off 30% of its contract workforce

The state-run telecom services provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is planning to lay-off 30% of its contract workforce amid increasing financial stress.

“The company has planned to lay-off 30% of its contract employees due to the financial stress,” a source from the employees union confirmed to DH.

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

Also read: BSNL unable to pay contract employees for 6 months no

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.

“There are many circles where we have seen zero contract employees. And now the company is planning to trim the remaining part as well,” a source said.

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. With general elections around the corner, the government decided to wait and watch strategy.

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 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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