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Govt may hire Coal India CMD from private sector

The government is open to hiring chairman and managing director of state-owned Coal India Ltd from the private sector, Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday. ‘I have also initiated a dialogue to see if we can attract talent going beyond the routine selection process, to attract talent from the private sector, of well meaning people of high integrity and proven management skills who are willing to sacrifice a few years may be for less pay,’ Goyal told reporters here. The post of CMD has been lying vacant after Narsing Rao resigned last month. Meanwhile, Additional Secretary A K Dubey has been given the additional charge of CMD of the company on 26 June for a period of three months.

Goyal said: ‘The process of appointment of CMD is driven by the selection board (public enterprises selection board)...As soon as the PESB is able to finalise the selection...we would of course be appointing the CMD.’ However, he emphasised that there is need to look for the larger talent pool available in the the private sector. ‘The idea is only to bring about a more competitive spirit and...larger pool of talent, to enable the selection process to be more vibrant and improve the efficiency of working of these people,’ Goyal said.

Amid fuel shortages, Coal India— which accounts for over 80 per cent of the domestic coal production — is drawing flak from across the quarter for missing the output target. Last fiscal, the company produced 462 million tonnes (MT) coal as against the target of 482 MT.
Meanwhile, Coal India on Friday started production at its 12 million tonne per annum (MTPA) coal mine in Jharkhand, a move that may increase supply to fuel-starved power plants.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had on Thursday announced in the Budget that comprehensive measures for enhancing domestic coal production were being put in place.
‘After the Budget was tabled, we want to give message that we are implementing the announcements and these are not just limited to papers. We will expedite matters. In this series we dedicated Amarpali coal mine to nation today,’ Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said.
The Jharkhand project is said to be one of the major mining projects in the recent few years. The Amrapali opencast coal mine of Central Coalfields Limited (CCL), a Coal India subsidiary, is located in Chatra district of Jharkhand. It has a ‘mineable’ reserves of 291 million tonnes. CCL took almost 10 years to begin mining coal from the Amarpali coal mine mainly due to delays in land acquisition and in the absence of rail line to connect the mining project.

The coal produced from the mine will be evacuated through Tori-Shivpur railway line which, however, is yet to be completed. The minister requested Members of Parliament from Jharkhand, who were present on the occasion, to help CCL get necessary clearances from the state government/ district authorities in the matter relating to early completion of the crucial line and land authentication of villagers.

While stating that power generation is dependent upon the coal production, the minister sought the support of the people of all mining areas to realise the government’s commitment to provide 24-hour power to all. Speaking on the occasion, Coal Secretary S K Srivastava , said: ‘We...are committed to maximise coal production and coal availability for the economy especially the power sector.’
The government will take all measures to increase production and productivity of coal, he added.
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