BSNL, MTNL asked to proceed quickly on VRS

New Delhi: Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has directed BSNL and MTNL to implement voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) guidelines quickly and initiate proactive measures to monetise assets in a time-bound manner, while making it clear that they have to become more aggressive in the telecom market, sources said.

A government official privy to the development said that the minister who met the boards of BSNL and MTNL categorically told the companies that they have been given a "strong incentive package" by the government and must roll up their sleeves now to become more competitive.

It may be recalled that the government last month had approved a Rs 69,000-crore revival package for 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.

The minister is also learnt to have directed the companies to finalise the VRS guidelines quickly and implement them in most proactive manner -- the progress of which will now be directly monitored by him.

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