At least 45 per cent of BSNL employees working in the Punjab circle, comprising Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali and Ropar, opted for Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), subscribing to a scheme of the central government, offered to employees above 50 years of age.
In the Punjab circle of BSNL, headquartered in Sector 34, as many as 2,582 employees out of the total 5,750 employees opted for VRS. The effective date of voluntary retirement is January 31, 2020. The last day to fill online VRS forms was Tuesday. The process had begun on November 3.
Sources in the BSNL said that at least 3,357 employees out of 5,750 were eligible for VRS, however, 775 employees did not opt for it. At least 285 employees, who opted for VRS, work in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali. The employees opting for VRS include General Managers and Assistant General Managers (AGM). The applications are in process.
However, the Indian Telecommunication Service (ITS) officers attached with BSNL were not eligible for the scheme.
General Manager (Administration), BSNL, VK Garg told Chandigarh Newsline, “There is a tremendous response from the side of BSNL employees towards VRS. At least 2,667 employees had originally applied for it. Tuesday was the last day for filing the forms. On the last day, around 85 people withdrew their consent for the VRS. The entire list will be forwarded to the Delhi office tomorrow evening. The last day for filling the form is December 3. There are less chances of extension of the last date for VRS applications. The amount of ex-gratia for any eligible employee will be equal to 35 days salary for each completed year of service and 25 days salary for every year of service left until superannuation.”
Karan Chander, Circle Secretary of Bhartiya Telecom Employee Union (BTEU) said, “There is a mix bag of feelings about the VRS. Some are accepting it, considering the profit. Some fear that they would lose out on profits if they did not accept the scheme as the government could change its mindset. I have personally calculated the scheme and offers being offered by the government. What we will not get is our annual increments of the further service, if we opt for VRS now. It shows that the government wants to change the company’s structure. As excepted, contractual/private employees will be hired in the BSNL.”
Through the ‘BSNL Voluntary Retirement Scheme – 2019’, BSNL is expected to save around Rs 7,000 crore from its wage bill, if about 70,000 personnel opt for retirement.