New Delhi: Bharat Sanchar Nigram Ltd (BSNL), the state run telecom company, should retire or transfer 100,000 employees and should consider divesting a 30 percent stake, the Business Line reported, citing recommendations from a committee headed by Sam Pitroda, an advisor to the prime minister.
“BSNL needs to improve organisation performance and employee productivity substantially. Retire or transfer around 100,000 employees through best possible processes such as voluntary retirement scheme (VRS),” stated the committee according to the news report.
BSNL reportedly has over three lakh workers and is one of the largest employers in the country along with the Railways. This makes the employee base of the state-run telecom company ten times more than the private operators. For example, Bharti Airtel, which has over 122 million subscribers across the country, has just about 25,000 employees to manage the operations. In the mobile segment, Bharti has 10,500 customers per employee.
In comparison, BSNL has 65 million wireless subscribers and 27.9 million fixed-line users for which it has three lakh employees. This makes its customer-to-employee ratio 350.
According to the news story, the Pitroda panel has suggested that the Government should divest 30 per cent stake in BSNL to an Indian strategic investor or through an Initial Public Offering and a larger part of the income from the equity sale should be utilised for employee VRS, expansion and operation.