A high number of BSNL and MTNL employees opted for the Voluntary Retirement Scheme after the government announced it as a part of cost-cutting
Over 92,000 employees of BSNL and MTNL have opted for Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), as the government looks to revamp the ailing public sector telecom companies. As a part of the revival efforts, VRS was introduced for the staff of the two telecom firms with December 3 set as the last date for submitting the applications.
Announcing that the government is planning to merge BSNL and MTNL, the Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told the Lok Sabha that the merger of BSNL and MTNL will have a pan-India footprint, synergy in operations and a reduction of fixed costs and overheads.
He also emphasised on the facts that the employee costs for both firms were high while highlighting that both companies were strategic assets and that the government would make them more professional and profitable.
The Cabinet has approved administrative allotment of spectrum to BSNL and MTNL for providing 4G services. "With rollout of 4G services on a pan-India basis, BNSL/MTNL will be able to provide high speed mobile Internet services in a data-centric market which will further improve the customer experience," the minister said.
MTNL operates in Delhi and Mumbai while BSNL is present in rest of India. JD(U) member Rajiv Ranjan Singh raised concerns about call drops and poor connectivity in the national capital, saying that if one tried 50 times on MTNL network, it was only around 5 times the call got connected. In response, Prasad said there wasn't a need for technological upgradation.