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Struggling to Survive: BSNL Freezes Employee Benefits, May Layoff 35,000 Workers

"We are cutting costs in terms of electricity, administrative expenses and freezing our employee benefits," BSNL chairman and MD reportedly said.

The state-run telecom company BSNL has reportedly frozen employee benefits and is considering offering voluntary retirement to as many as 35,000 employees in an an attempt to cut costs and stay afloat.

Per a report in Trak.in, BSNL commissioned IIM-Ahmedabad to advice on its finances. The preliminary report  recommends that the government-run company will have to remove minimum of 35,000 employees. BSNL has already initiated cost-cutting in a number of ways, including cutting down on medical expenses of employees,

BSNL Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava told Trak.in, “We are cutting costs in terms of electricity, administrative expenses and freezing our employee benefits. For the time being, we are not giving any LTC (leave travel concession) benefits, etc. The medical expenses are also being controlled,” adding that a voluntarily retirement scheme (VRS) package is also being deliberated upon and a decision will soon be taken.

Shrivastava also said, ” They said if you (BSNL) have to really survive, we need have to do various such activities to ensure that company survives the turmoil in the market and benefits to employees can come when the company is profitable,” reported Trak.in.

After the entry of Reliance Jio in the telecom sector, BSNL’s market share has declined consistently. Business Today reported that Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea account for over 90 per cent of the revenue and 80 per cent of spectrum holding in the sector.

The Business Today report added that BSNL had undertaken cost-cutting measures in the 2018 as well, and had saved Rs 2,500 crore out of which, 25 per cent was due to restricting employee benefits.

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