State-owned and run telecommunications services company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited or BSNL has just accepted a proposal to lay off almost 54,000 employees. This was part of a ten-point measure that was suggested by the board of which three were accepted. The measures were suggestions made by an expert panel that was set up by the government. But the Department of Telecom has decided to hold off the implementation of this new measure until the end of the elections when this would be discussed again before implementing.

The suggestions that were made during the March meeting will see a final round of decision making after the election is over to ensure the new government takes a call on the same. According to a report by the Deccan Herald, a source in the company said, “Announcing the VRS package or job cuts and shutting down businesses of the telecom firm would have huge implications on employees and ongoing elections. DoT decided to wait and watch.”

Besides this, the other two suggestions were accepted by the board, which includes the reduction of the age of retirement from 60 years to 58 years, and Voluntary Retirement Service will be offered to employees over the age of 50. The average age of the BSNL employees is above 55 years. And it is this new rule that will prompt the retirement of 33,568 employees alone, and save the company Rs 13,895 crore over the next six-years on the wage-bill. And the new VRS rule will cost the company, an estimated Rs 13,895 crore.

BSNL has been under constant financial trouble since the advent of Reliance Jio as a competitor. It has faced almost a 20 percent dip in the revenues during the 2017-2018 tenure. It is currently running at a loss of Rs 7,993 in the 2017-2018 tenure which is 66 percent more than the last year.

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