BSNL revival package: Half-a-lakh employees to come under VRS
Thrissur: As the government announced the massive revival package for BSNL, the anxiety regarding lowering the pension age of BSNL employees has reduced.
Minister Ravisankar Prasad, had not mentioned anything during the press meet regarding the pension age. However, he had said that Voluntary Retirement Scheme would be applicable to employees between 50 to 60 years of age. With this, it is believed that there would be no lowering of pension age.
Ever since the discussions regarding the revival package came to surface, there has been rumours regarding lowering of pension age. Some of the associations had even come against the proposed move. Earlier, BSNL had thought of lowering the pension age and the discussions regarding it were in the final phase.
When BSNL was separated as a company from the telecom department, it was agreed that the pension age will not be lowered. Legal advice was received that as the term exists in the agreement, it would be difficult to lower the pension age. Government also anticipated protests against it, if a package involving lowering of pension age was announced.
The employee associations within BSNL had no much objection to the propositions announced in the revival package even though a few were opposing the VRS package. Union government believes that around half a lakh of employees can be cut through VRS scheme. Procedures for the same will be started within a month.
It is expected that the employees will have the choice to provide option for VRS package. When the number of employees are reduced, government expects to reduce the fund for salary disbursement by Rs 350 crore.
All the circles have been directed to prepare the list of employees between age 50 and 60 and this work has to be completed within October 31. There are around 1.06 lakh BSNL employees in this age group in the country.