80,000 Out Of 1.65 lakh BSNL Employees And 14,000 Out Of 18,200 MTNL Workers Seek VRSBSNL (image via @JKAlerts/Facebook)

Over 94,000 employees of state-run BSNL and MTNL have applied for the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) with eight more days to go for its closure, according to a government official.

According to sources, BSNL's 80,000 and MTNL's 14,000 employees have applied for the VRS.

"MTNL's 13,988 employees have applied for the VRS. Of the total 18,200, 16,372 are eligible for it. I am expecting another 500 to opt for the VRS. Our target was 13,500", MTNL chairman Sunil Kumar told IANS.

Of the 1.65 lakh, nearly 1,00,000 BSNL employees are eligible for the VRS. The effective date of voluntary retirement under the present scheme is January 31, 2020.

The Union Cabinet had last month approved a plan to combine MTNL, which provides telecom services in Mumbai and New Delhi, and BSNL that services the rest of the nation. It also approved a package for the ailing PSUs to cut employee cost by offering the VRS on the Gujarat model to the employees of 50 years and above.

The total of ex-gratia (as per the Gujarat model) and admissible pension for the remaining period of service doesn't exceed 125 per cent of the salary that the employee would have drawn on the date of voluntary retirement.

The payment for ex-gratia on VRS (Rs 17,169 crore) and preponed pensionary liability (Rs 12,768 crore spread over 10 years) is to be supported through budgetary allocation. The ex-gratia on VRS is to paid in two instalments of 50 per cent each during FY20 and during Q1FY21.

The rescue package includes infusion of Rs 20,140 crore for purchase of 4G spectrum, Rs 3,674 crore for GST to be paid on spectrum allocation, companies raising Rs 15,000 crore in debt on the sovereign guarantee and the government funding Rs 17,160 crore VRS and another Rs 12,768 crore towards retirement liability.

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