Why Most of BSNL Employees opting for VRS, and Position of Post VRS

Presenting some of the reasons collected from various sources, about why above 50% of BSNL employees opted for VRS 2019, and what is the position, condition on post VRS after 01.02.2020…

Most of the employees, who have been working with BSNL for 30 years and have 5/6 years in their credit to serve in BSNL, have exercised their option for VRS (Voluntary Retirement Scheme) 2019, where they are brilliant and efficient employees.

During good times, they won many accolades and still they intend to serve even during this turbulent and hard time, But sometimes employees prefer to quit either through normal voluntary retirement or VRS, and their views about BSNL are as follows:

  1. 15000 crores, we have to borrow through bonds, We have to pay interest for the borrowed money, Immediately, fund is not available.
  2. We have to sell our assets in four years to generate fund for operation, Immediately fund is not available.
  3. Ex gratia fund is available, However it is not fund for revival, Even though many argue that we can save 550 crores per month,
  4. Present salary amount is 1050 crores, It may reduce to 500 crores after downsizing the staff by 50%.
  5. After VRS there will be acute shortage of skilled manpower
  6. BSNL have to hire manpower (most likely by re-engaging those who retired from BSNL) from market or outsourcing all the activities.
  7. Have to spend 250 crores, Now saving from salary is (550 – 250) = 300 crores.
  8. Present OPEX deficit is more than 400 crores, So loss may continue even after Voluntary Retirement Scheme.
  9. Service quality will drastically deteriorate, Such issue had happened in UK and USA particularly in grid energy sector, Thus, many customers may migrate to other operators.
  10. We believe that Jio’s IUC charge of 6 paise may help migrate its customers to BSNL, but in reality, it is in reverse order, How?
    • Ex:- In a family of 10 members, 2 members own BSNL and 8 are with Jio. Majority is with Jio, so decided to migrate the 2 to Jio so as to save IUC charges for calls among themselves because they have developed trust on Jio and they think that quality of service of Jio is better, thus, many customers are likely to migrate to Jio.

Policy : In name of improving service, the non professional management may introduce many absurd policy measures which are practically not feasible in the field. Threat of pay cuts and transfers, in other words, third degree formula or military rule type management may flourish in BSNL. Employees who will remain in BSNL may feel harassment / humiliation and thus most of the employees are preferring to retire voluntarily.

Human Resource (HR)

  • It is a big issue to BSNL, and the worst of all verticals in BSNL, No professionalism, No rule, Will frame rule and will violate its own rule.
  • Laissez- faire system.
  • Measuring tape is yet to be procured but started measuring performance under assumption.
  • Many court cases.
  • Well designed IMPS score card but flopped in BSNL.

Management

Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan argues that in Indian PSUs there are talented and skilled employees in the middle level however in the top level of management, it lacks skill and professionalism, Through VRS, most of the very dedicated employees of middle level will exit and top level group will remain.

Business Environment

  • Jio has built large customer base by distorting price and influencing regulator, we cannot imitate it and not feasible in present context.
  • We have poor or very negligible customer base and cannot bring back the migrated customers.
  • Don’t know whether we will get profit from mobile sector. Product price is much lower than marginal cost.

Fiber to the Home (FTTH)

  • Very substandard work is being carried out for provisions, and Perfect or better substitute is available in the market.

Enterprise Business

  • We are good, but there is threat of capturing our business by Reliance Jio.

Unions and Associations : The Unions and Associations have become useless at present, and the employees have lost faith in them.

Working Environment : Most of the Executives are facing unbearable pressure, unhelpful working conditions and expenditure in thousands of rupees per month.

Government : Because of Hon’ble MoC Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, BSNL exists, If he is shifted to other ministry, difficult to imagine what is to come next.

In view of above impending dangers most of the BSNL employees prefer to opt for Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) 2019.