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Pitroda Prescription can enrich BSNL books

Public sector telecom giant Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) can cut its salary burden by about Rs 4,000 crore per annum if it manages to give voluntary retirement to one lakh employees, as suggested by the Sam Pitroda committee, reports Manoj Gairola.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2010 22:03 IST
Manoj Gairola

Public sector telecom giant Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) can cut its salary burden by about Rs 4,000 crore per annum if it manages to give voluntary retirement to one lakh employees, as suggested by the Sam Pitroda committee.

This would wipe out operational losses if one goes by the last financial year’s results.

The company had a salary bill of Rs 11,363 crore during the financial year ending March, 2009. This was 33 per cent of the total operating revenue of Rs 30,268 crore.

In comparison, the salary bill of private telecom operator Bharti Airtel, was only 4.3% of the total revenue in the last financial year.

The Pitroda committee has suggested that BSNL finance the cost of the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) by divesting 20 per cent equity.

The BSNL CMD said he had not seen the report.

The biggest challenge for BSNL would be to make the VRS attractive. “The strategy should be to give an attractive VRS and enforce discipline among employees,” said R. S. P. Sinha, CMD of Mahanagr telephone Nigam Ltd.

Employees are unhappy at the prospect. “We will oppose any VRS scheme,” said V. A. N. Namboodri, general secretary of BSNL Employees Union.