About VRS itself:
1. No one needs to have any doubt about the intention of Voluntary Retirement Scheme in BSNL. It is not for the benefit of employees, but is a tool to reduce the number of workers in preparation for privatisatiion. The strikes and agitations in the privatised PSUs like VSNL, ITDC hotels, BALCO etc against retrenchment have taught a lesson, making tbe corporates to insist that the govt should reduce the workforce before privatisation.
2. VRS is a clear strategy of govt to reduce pension expenses in future. If an employee retires on superannuation, clear rules exist for Dearness Relief, Pension Revision, Family Pension etc. It is not clear for the pension on VRS. There are many grey areas. In this connection refer to the Supreme Court judgment in another case that VRS is a package by itself and revision of pension is not included.
3. Past experience of VRS in MTNL etc has shown that post VRS, services could not improve due to consequent shortage of staff and revenue decreased, resulting in loss.
4. By spending Rs.17,000 crore for VRS now, govt is expecting to reduce pension expences of the VRS retiress by lakhs of crores of rupees for the ensuing many decades.
5. If the VRS amount is for Revival of BSNL, why the govt all these years did not spend a single paise from the tax payers’ money for BSNL?
6.. Even when 60 or 65 years, employees are capable of doing their work efficiently, just like businessmen, politicians, self employed etc. While employed one gets more respect, more income, more energy and better health. Unless you are engaged in some way after retirement, situation is different.
7. Comparatively one may get more money at the time of retirement on VRS, than on superannuation. But one has to pay Incometax for the same, which will be a substantial amount.
8. Higher bank interest as eligible for senior citizens will not be eligible for VRS optees (till they are 60).
9. The govt, management, media, corporates through adverse propaganda has created a situation of insecurity in the minds of the employees. Non payment of wages for contract labour for about one year, delay in payment of salary to employees, statements of NITI Ayog and Finance Ministry about closure/ privatisation of BSNL, nonremittance to GPF, loans etc, etc has created fear about their future in BSNL, compelling them to think about option to VRS. Decision taken during mass hysteria need not always be the best.
10. Employees should ponder about all these as also calculate what they will get in comparison with what they will get on superannuation and later etc etc. The conditions of VRS have to be thoroughly studied.
No body should be victims of the pitfalls of VRS. One decade back when VRS package was offered in BSNL for one lakh workers ie. 50% of employees, not even 1% took it.
And they are very happy about their decision inview of higher pension, pension revision etc.
This note is not comprehensive, but only a few general points about the present VRS.
63Balu Melethil, Smitha Soman and 61 others