About 27,000 employees of MTNL will be retiring in the next 10 years, bringing down the salary burden of the debt-laden public sector firm. At present, around 70 per cent of the total revenues of the state-run telecom is used to pay salary to 34,000 staff. A top official of MTNL said that 27,000 employees are going to retire in the next 10 years. MTNL, which offers telecom services in Delhi and Mumbai, has also identified 13,000 employees, whose skills are not relevant due to the changing technological advancements in the telecom sector.
The employees are though utilised in some other services. “We have 13,000 employees whose skills are not relevant in the changing technological environment in the telecom sector. We have identified them as wasting cadre, which means we don’t require that set of people when they retire,” the official said. According to a standing committee report, which was tabled in Parliament recently, said MTNL CMD PK Purwar that the turnover of MTNL in 2014-15 has been Rs 3,600 crore and the operating loss is about Rs 3,000 crore.
“The biggest reason for this loss is the cost of salary to its 34,000 staff, which is around 70 per cent of the total revenue,” he had said. The Department of Telecom has informed the committee that MTNL is under a serious debt burden of around Rs 16,332 crore (as on January 2015) and is unable to mobilise funds required for various network ungrade and expansion projects. “At present, MTNL is passing through severe financial difficulties because of which it is able to take up only those projects for which external funding arrangements are made,” the report has said.