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BW Businessworld

TCBL Employees To Get Interest Payment On PF

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There is good news for more than 2,000 employees of Tata Communications Business Unit (TCBL) this Diwali. This year, the employees are likely to get the interest payment on their Provident Fund from the government.

On Monday, the Communications Ministry cleared a proposal for payment of interest on certain PF accounts pertaining to erstwhile Retail Business Unit (RBU) employees of TCL (now renamed as TCBL) that had acquired Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. It has also allowed certain officials of the company to vote and attend general meetings of its subsidiaries and companies where TCL is a member.

Sources in the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said that the government has disinvested its stake in VSNL (now TCL) and signed a shareholders' agreement with the strategic partner. The SHA does not warrant a Presidential approval to go ahead with such proposal. "The current proposal seems to be well within the powers of TCL Board," the DoT official said.

As per the understanding, government nominee directors on TCL board — A.K Mittal, Senior DDG (Access Services) and Saurabh Tiwari DDG —  "may stay neutral and ask the company to take necessary steps to safeguard the overall interest of the government."

Tata acquired VSNL in 2002. Industry analysts feel that the government is keen to remove small issues before it can take a call on a contentious issue like the sale of 773 acres of surplus land asset. This was not divested as part of VSNL divestment. Since 2002, it has remained a vexed issue for both government and the Tatas. The government is hopeful that a final decision could be taken, once the minor pending issues are resolved.