The finance ministry has suggested that ailing public sector undertakings Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) be shut down, reported Financial Express.
The development comes after the finance ministry rejected the proposal of the department of telecommunications (DoT) to pump in a massive Rs 74,000 crore to revive the ailing PSUs, the report added. The cost of closure won't be as high as Rs 95,000 crore as argued by the DoT earlier. The Rs 95,000 core amount was derived from the expense that will be incurred when providing an attractive voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) package to around 1.65 lakh employees of the two firms.
Shutting them down, however, will not lead to such a high expense, people aware of the matter told Financial Express. As per the report, the large volume of workers also includes officers from the Indian Telecommunications Service (ITS), who were directly recruited by the firms and those who came from other PSUs or government departments before being absorbed.
The ITS officers can be redeployed into other departments. The staff, who were recruited directly constitute, less than a tenth of the total strength of the two firms. Thus, the report added, the VRS issue will be a concern only to those who were absorbed from other departments, reducing the cost of shutting them down.