I am giving below a press report in which it is stated that DOT has asked MTNL to reduce the retirement age from 60 to 58, in order to reduce the staff and to reduce the expenditure on VRS. The Modi government, it seems, is determined to finish the MTNL and put its employees on the road. If the experiment is successful, the next target will be BSNL. In this connection it is to be mentioned that the government has no moral right to reduce the retirement age, since the employees have been planning their retirement life with the preparation to retire at 60 years and any pre-retirement will put them in to much difficulties and even may destroy their future life. Strong protest should rise against this arbitrary decision.
“Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd’s plan to become leaner is unlikely to fructify any time soon as the department of telecommunications has told the state-owned telecom services provider to first bring down the retirement age for its employees to 58 from 60 before seeking any support to fund a planned voluntary retirement scheme, according to an official.
According to the official, the company had sought the department’s support to initiate a VRS for its employees to bring down its staff costs—currently almost neck-to-neck with its revenues. Reduction in the retirement age will automatically bring down the number of people eligible for VRS and hence save the government some cash.
Years of losses, abetted by a lethargic and huge manpower and slow decision-making, have pulled down the MTNL’s networth into negative. Its revenues have little chance of recovering given that the market has matured and at the same time remains competitive. The company’s last annual profit was in 2008-09. Its net loss in March quarter was Rs. 634.78 crores – the lowest among the losses in the four quarters of 2016-17.
MTNL had a staff strength of 28,877 as on December 31, 2016. Of this, 4,027 were executives and 24,850 were non-executives.
At the end of last calendar year, the company had a total of 7.10 million subscribers. Of this, 3.63 million were mobile subscribers while 3.48 million were landline connections.”