The telecom minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, has directed Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) to implement the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) guidelines soon.
Further, the minister has also asked the telcos to initiate proactive measures to monetise assets in a time-bound manner. The two firms will reportedly look at monetising assets worth Rs 375 billion within the next three years.
In October 2019, the Union Cabinet had approved a revival package of Rs 690 billion for BSNL and MTNL that included merging the two firms, monetising their assets and giving voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) to their staff.
The revival package included an infusion of Rs 201.4 billion capital for purchase of 4G spectrum, Rs 36.74 billion for GST paid on spectrum allocation, companies raising Rs 150 billion in debt on the sovereign guarantee and government funding of Rs 171.6 billion for VRS and another Rs 127.68 billion towards retirement liability.