Millennium Post

Coal India annual production crosses 500 mt for first time

State-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) on Monday said that it has crossed half-a-billion tonnes of coal production for the first time in a fiscal.  Coal India Ltd is eyeing to double its production to one billion tonnes by 2020. “As on March 13, 2016, CIL & its subsidiaries have surpassed half-a-billion tonnes of coal production,” Coal India (CIL) said in a filing to the BSE. “Till March 13, 2016, CIL subsidiaries have produced 501.34 million tonnes of coal with a positive growth of 9.1 per cent compared to last same period,” the filing said.

CIL further said that it has an offtake of 504.09 million tonnes, registering a growth of 9.4 per cent compared to last year same period as on March 13, 2016. CIL, which accounts for over 80 per cent of the domestic coal production, is eyeing 550 million tonnes in the ongoing fiscal.

Meanwhile, the meeting of unions with Coal Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday remained “inconclusive” after the latter directed the Coal India management to further deliberate on all pending issues. The workers are likely to meet the management as early as next week. The four central trade unions (CTUs) of the coal sector had earlier given a notice to go on strike on March 29. 

“Today’s meeting (of worker unions’ with Coal and Power minister Piyush Goyal) was inconclusive. However, the minister has directed the Coal India management to hold again a meeting with worker unions either on March 21 or March 22 and resolve all pending issues,” Indian National Mine Workers’ Federation (INTUC) Secretary General S Q Zama said.

Zama further said a host of issues came up for discussion, including Coal India (CIL) disinvestment and enhanced wages for contract workers of the coal PSU. The minister is believed to have asked the coal PSU to create an effective grievance redressal mechanism. The unions are protesting against divestment of the coal PSU among a host of other issues. The proposed strike, if carried out, is likely to hit the production of the coal behemoth. An official had earlier said the 10 per cent stake sale in CIL is likely to be deferred to the next fiscal as the government wants to wait for stability in the stock markets for a better valuation.

The government had last sold 10 per cent in the blue-chip on January 31, 2015, at the floor price of Rs 358 and mobilised Rs 22,557 crore. In November last year, the Cabinet approved 10 per cent stake sale in Coal India. The government currently owns 79.65 per cent in the maharatna public sector unit. 

Morever, seeking to address the issue of a fall in lifting of coal by medium and small scale industries, Government is planning to launch a web portal on which consumers can place their requirements and get the supply by self-certification.

Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said the government has assessed the reasons for the fall, which include lack of sensitivity for small consumer and elaborate paper work.

“This time we have held thorough discussion with consumer organisations and state governments and after talking to all, we are very soon going to place a new proposal under which all information about state agencies will be put on a web portal.

Consumers can place their requirement on the portal and on the basis of self certification, they will get the coal at price including nominated prices added by freight and 5 per cent service charge,” Goyal said.

The Minister said this will not only enhance transparency but also establish control over state agencies not carrying out coal distribution properly.

“There will be a check on any wrong-doing by them due to the entire information being in public domain,” Goyal said. Medium and small scale industries whose requirement is less than 4200 tonnes per annum are required to take coal through agencies nominated by state governments. 
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