Posts and Telecommunications Division (PDT) has sent merger proposal of Robi-Airtel to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) incorporating conditions that no unemployment would be allowed in the country's first ever amalgamation in telecom sector.
"They (Robi) have to submit specific plan on human resource management to the telecom regulator to ensure job security of employees so that no one is terminated or any unemployment is created centering the proposed merger," according to the document sent to the PMO.
Besides, Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) or Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) has to be prepared following the best practice of multinational companies and it has also to be submitted to the telecom regulator Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), it added.
According to the proposal, the BTRC must be informed of making the full payment under the VRS/VSS within the 60 days of the completion of the merger.
"If any complexity is created during implementation of the VRS/VSS, the merged company would adopt necessary measures through the directives of BTRC," said the proposal.
The PDT has finalized the proposal after an inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Finance Minister A H M Muhith on July 13. In the meeting, the finance division has fixed Taka 100 crore as merger fee and Taka 33.8 crore as spectrum fee for per megahertz of 2G airwave which were pending for long time.
A senior official familiar with the process said ultimately all issues are depending on the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who is also the minister of the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology.
In the proposal, it was also included that in the next three years of the merger, the regulator has to be informed with specific reason before any termination of the employees of Robi and Airtel joined in the merged company.
In addition, jobs of employees of Airtel who would join the merged company would be considered as the continuation of the service in Airtel.
Robi and Airtel opened talks on a possible merger at the end of August, 2015, and on January 28, the operators' parent companies signed a deal to that effect. If merged, the entity will be the second largest operator in Bangladesh.
In the merged entity, Axiata, the parent company of Robi, will hold 68.7 percent controlling stake, Bharti Airtel 25 percent and NTT DOCOMO of Japan 6.3 percent.
Currently, Malaysia-based Axiata has 91.59 percent stakes in Robi and Japan's DOCOMO 8.41 percent, meaning both their shares in the Bangladeshi operation will be diluted after the merger. After the merger Robi will be the second largest operator after Grameenphone.