Communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad stated a complete of 79,000 staff of BSNL and 14,000 out of 20,000 staff of MTNL have utilized for the VRS scheme which the federal government has come out with to scale back the worker value in these PSUs which is at present very excessive as in comparison with the business.
“BSNL and MTNL are the strategic assets for the country and in case of earthquake, cyclone or defence purposes they come forward proactively to help citizens. Therefore, we have decided to revive them,” he informed the Rajya Sabha.
“We want to revive them and make them professional,” he stated.
“Till date, 79,000 people have applied for VRS in BSNL and 14,000 out of total 20,000 employees in MTNL have applied for VRS. We will ensure that they get the best VRS package,” he stated.
Replying to supplementaries the minister stated the Cabinet in its assembly on October 23, 2019 authorised the revival plan for BSNL which incorporates measures to scale back the employees value by providing Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) to staff of age 50 years and above.
“Accordingly, BSNL has launched ‘BSNL Voluntary Retirement Scheme-2019’ on November 4, 2019 which is open till December 3, 2019,” he stated in his written reply.
Prasad stated the worker value in BSNL was 75.06 per cent whereas that in MTNL was 87.15 per cent, towards 2.95 per cent for Airtel, 5.59 per cent for Vodafone and 4.27 per cent for Jio and the federal government has come out with a pretty VRS bundle.
On whether or not the federal government can pay dues of contractual staff in BSNL/MTNL, the minister stated “as far as contract employees are concerned, they are employees of the contractor and the obligation to pay salaries is that of the contractor.”
To a query on the Ministry pruning 30 per cent of contract employees in BSNL to handle monetary issues, Prasad stated Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) outsources particular works to contractors who interact contract employees for the stated works.
In view of the strained monetary situation, BSNL determined to implement varied austerity measures which embody lowering expenditure for various outsourcing works, he stated, including that these embody works for house-keeping, safety and sure restore and upkeep works.
On revising the age for VRS, Prasad stated “though the government has taken the decision, the option is open”.
“My stress is to revive BSNL/MTNL and efforts are on to revive them first,” he stated.
The minister additionally stated 4G providers have additionally been given to BSNL to make them competent. “We will walk an extra mile to make BSNL competitive”.
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