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MTNL to offer VRS to about 20,000 employees


12 Jan 2012
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MTNL to offer VRS to about 20,000 employees

State-owned MTNL, which provides telecom services in Delhi and Mumbai regions, will offer voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) to about 20,000 employees, as part of its efforts to turn profitable.

The telecom PSU has also approached the government for surrendering its broadband wireless access (BWA) license for which it paid Rs 4,600 crore, MTNL Chairman and Managing Director A K Garg said today.

"Turnaround takes slightly longer time but we have some items on our mind and working on those items. Number one is improving our revenue services ... we have already written a letter to the government asking for surrendering of BWA license, we want that money back," Garg told reporters here.

"For BWA licence, we have paid Rs 4,600 crore. Even if we don't get interest, at least that much we can expect. We have planned VRS to 19,000-20,000 people. The outgo should be some Rs 2,000-3,000 crore. There are many issues like staff pension issues. But issues are known and few," he said.

The company plans to restructure its loan book through funding which it will get through sale of assets.

"Whatever amount we get the entire amount will be utilised to repay the loan. Interest wise we will become positive. Now we pay almost Rs 100 crore a month. We want to be a debt free company, like we were earlier," Garg said but did not divulge the debt size in the books.

MTNL had suffered a loss of Rs 929.7 crore for the quarter ended December, 2011.

On expansion plans, he said the company has floated a tender for 2G and 3G expansion in Mumbai and Delhi and it expects to open that in two months.

"We should spend close to Rs 200 crore on this for improvement of wireless network. We will be using ADSL broadband for indoor network for 2G and 3G coverage also ... I expect these products to start coming from December."

He further said that some of the company's products would become obsolete by 2017.

"We are also talking about reframing ... some of the equipment will become redundant and new equipment will be required especially in 900 band," he said.

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