MTNL sets December 3 for employees to opt for VRS

NEW DELHI: State-run telecom firm MTNL on Monday rolled out a voluntary retirement scheme for its employees, days after the government approving a revival package for the struggling unit.

The scheme, based on Gujarat Model of VRS, will be open for employees till December 3, 2019.

In a notice sent out by MTNL to employees, the company mentioned “all regular and permanent employees of 50 years and above as on January 31, 2020” are eligible to opt for the scheme.

MTNL Chairman and Managing Director Sunil Kumar has earlier told PTI that around 15,000 out of 22,000 employees of the state run firm are estimated to be eligible for the scheme and the package offered by the government is attractive for all of them.

“This will bring down our employees cost to 25 per cent of revenue from 85 per cent at present by February. We expect to be EBIDTA positive within 2 years due to this step,” Kumar has told PTI.

The government has approved a Rs 68,751-crore revival package for loss-making BSNL and MTNL, including 4G spectrum allocation and voluntary retirement scheme.

MTNL VRS note highlighted that up to 46 months of salary is expected to be given as a lump sum ex-gratia compensation.

The company has segregated the scheme for three sets of employees– combined service optees, pro-rata optees and MTNL recruited employees.

Combined service optees at MTNL will get ex-gratia plus admissible pension of up to 125 per cent of their salary. Pro-rata optees will also get the same benefit as combined service optees having same period of service completed and remaining. While MTNL recruited employees will get ex-gratia up to 100 per cent of salary.

“Employees with vigilance cases also allowed provisionally,” the notice said.

The cabinet also approved merger of the state-owned telecom firms and till the completion of the process, MTNL will operate as a subsidiary of BSNL, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here while sharing details of the revival package.

The company had posted a loss of Rs 3,388.07 crore and revenue of Rs 2,085.41 crore in 2018-19. The total debt on the company is around Rs 20,000 crore.

The finance cost of MTNL was around 50 per cent of the revenue.

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