796 Nepal Telecom employees to get golden handshake

- Post Report, Kathmandu
A total of 822 employees had applied to join the plan after it was opened. Most of those who chose to leave under the VRS have been with the institution for 25 years or more

Feb 12, 2016-In one of the largest voluntary retirement schemes (VRS) in the history of Nepali state-owned enterprises, Nepal Telecom (NT) will be giving a golden handshake to as many as 796 employees following a board decision on Wednesday. 

A total of 822 employees had applied to join the plan after it was opened. Most of those who chose to leave under the VRS have been with the institution for 25 years or more. 

NT launched the VRS that will come into effect on February 12 after realizing that the institution was over-staffed and had employees who could not keep up with the advances in technology. 

The employees have been given a one-time pension for 22 years. An employee who retires at the age of 58 will draw a pension till the age of 80, which is why pensions have been made available for 22 years. Likewise, employees who have not reached the age limit will get additional facilities like four months’ salary for a period of six years. 

“NT will be paying around Rs5 billion to send off 796 staffers at one time,” said Buddhi Prasad Acharya, managing director of NT. “However, this cannot be termed as a liability.” According to Acharya, NT is making a one-time payment to staffers who would be getting a similar amount in installments in the future. 

The reduction in the number of staff, according to Acharya, will benefit the company in the long run. NT plans to provide the VRS to around 1,400 staffers in several phases. As of today, the state-owned telecom company has around 5,000 employees. 

Currently, NT is the only telecom service provider in the country offering a wide range of services including PSTN and WLL in fixed telephony service and GSM and CDMA in mobile service. The company has also diversified internet service through technologies like dial-up, ADSL, GPRS, EDGE, WCDMA, CDMA, EVDO and WiMAX.  

“We have a maximum number of employees in the PSTN and WLL departments. While we have relieved a large number of employees in this segment, we still aim to post a growth in terms of subscriber base,” Acharya said. NT is the only company providing fixed line telephony service. 

According to Acharya, though NT does not have any plans to recruit new personnel, it will continue hiring the candidates who have appeared in the entrance exams conducted by the company. 

Though there aren’t many government institutions which have succeeded in relieving employees, the Agricultural Development Bank had set the trend in 1991 by relieving 226 employees. The bank had provided the VRS to more than 1,000 employees between 1991 and 2009. 

Likewise, Nepal Bank Limited (NBL) has also relieved more than 2,300 staffers under the VRS. Rastriya Banijya Bank (RBB) is also among the government institutions that have relieved employees in a similar manner. 

Both NBL and RBB opted for the VRS after their management was handed over to foreign management in 2002 under the World Bank’s Financial Sector Reform Project.

Published: 12-02-2016 09:01

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