Beleaguered BSNL’s Board Approves Plan To Lay Off 54,000 Employees; Aims To Save Rs 13,895 Crore: ReportRepresentative Image 

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is likely to lay off 31 per cent of its workforce owing to losses it has been incurring the past few years, Economic Times has reported.

The numbers translate to 54,000 out of its total workforce of 174,314 employees.

The state telecom giant failed to pay salaries to its employees for the month of February.

To trim its losses the company has proposed to decrease its retirement age from 60 to 58 years and also enable Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) provision to all employee aged 50 and above. This move will save the ailing telecom provider Rs 13,895 crore in wage bills over the next six years.

Interestingly the average age of the workforce is estimated to be around 55 years and trimming the retirement age itself will shelve BSNL’s 33,568 employees.

The layoff however will only come into force after the completion of the parliamentary elections, a panel panel set up by the government proposed the recommendation. The board also accepted three out of ten proposals made by the panel.

While BSNL’s losses stood at Rs 4,859 crore and Rs 4,786 crore FY 2015-16 and FY 2016-17 respectively, they expanded to Rs 7,992 in FY 2017-18. At the end of FY18, the cumulative losses of the company stood at a massive Rs 31,287 crore.

The company which is bloated with an excessive workforce, employee expenses, including retirement benefit accruals, stood at a whopping 66 per cent of operating revenues in FY18. This was substantially higher than 21 per cent figure in FY06 and 27 per cent in FY08.

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