State-run telecom firm MTNL on Monday said it has already crossed its voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) target of 13,500 and it expects another 500-600 more which will take its VRS applicants numbers to 14,500, its MTNL Chairman and MD Sunil Kumar said on Monday.
“About 13,988 employees of MTNL have applied for VRS as on today. Our employee strength is 18,200. Out of this, 16,372 are eligible for VRS, I am expecting another 500 to be in VRS, so up to 14,500, VRS applicants can go. Our target was 13,500”, Kumar told media here.
He said 1,500 people have already retired since the VRS was announced.
MTNL’s share price currently stands at Rs 9, and its net worth is fully eroded.
The company’s VRS is based on the VRS model of Gujarat and will be open for employees till December 3, 2019. All regular and permanent employees of 50 years and above as on January 31, 2020, are eligible to opt for the scheme.
MTNL has reported a widening of its loss to Rs 859 crore on a standalone basis in the quarter ended September 30, 2018, mainly on account of an increase in finance costs and a decline in sales. The debt-ridden firm had posted a loss of Rs 730.64 crore in the same period a year ago.
The finance cost of the company during the period under review increased to Rs 422.72 crore from Rs 366.22 crore.
MTNL has a debt of around Rs 19,000 crore. The government has approved a plum Rs 69,000-crore revival package for both telecom companies BSNL and MTNL that includes merging the two loss-making firms, monetising their assets and giving VRS to employees so that the combined entity turns profitable in two years.