"The Cabinet in its meeting held on October 23, 2019, approved the revival plan for BSNL and MTNL which inter-alia includes in-principle approval for merger of BSNL and MTNL. The process of merger is likely to be completed in 18-24 months," Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.
The government has earlier said that till the completion of the merger, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) will operate as a subsidiary of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL).
Both the debt-ridden companies have rolled out voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), which is open for employees till December 3.
In the case of BSNL, as many as 77,000 employees of state-owned telecom corporation have opted for the recently launched VRS till now.
While in the case of MTNL, 13,532 employees have opted for the VRS scheme so far.
Last month, the government had given nod to the merger of the two loss-making telecom firms and approved a Rs 69,000-crore revival package, including monetising their assets and giving VRS to employees.