You are right that BPCL is offering a voluntary retirement scheme or VRS for its employees, ahead government privatising it. Those who do not want to continue on the rolls of the company post the privatization will be able to exercise this option. The VRS opened on July 23 and will close on August 13. This will be more like an exit option. It may be recollected that the government will be selling its entire 52.98% stake in BPCL. Nearly 10% of its 20,000 employees are expected to avail the VRS.

The VRS will be open to all employees who have completed 45 years of age. Employees who opt for VRS will get compensation payment equivalent to two-month salary for each completed year of service or the monthly salary at the time of voluntary retirement multiplied by the balance months of service left. Repatriation expenses, as payable in case of retirement, will also be paid.

BPCL currently has a market cap of Rs.97,247 crore and government stake would be worth Rs. 51,500 crore. The successful bidder will have to make an open offer to 26% of minority shareholders under SEBI rules. This will be the first big step towards disinvestment target.