The union minister for coal, power and new & renewable energy, Piyush Goyal, said on Thursday that Coal India lost about 1 million tonnes of production in the two days that the labour unions were on strike.
However, Goyal brushed aside any concerns on a shortfall in production by saying that this was a “very nominal shortfall” and that he was hopeful of a healthy growth in CIL’s coal production going forward, enabling the PSU to meet its targets.
The strike, which was called on Tuesday by the five trade unions of CIL—BMS, INTUC, AITUC, CITU and HMS — came about after the unions had already boycotted two meetings called by the government.
“Our meeting with the labour unions was a success. In fact, the last shift had worked yesterday. The management had to be informed by the government to open up their facilities because the workers were waiting to start work. A committee has been formed with representatives of the labour unions and to be headed by a joint secretary of the coal ministry, which will look dedicatedly at the workers’ issues,” Goyal said.
According to the minutes of Wednesday’s meeting, the unions had concerns related to a possible disinvestment in CIL, and commercial coal mining by the private sector as has been enabled by the coal ordinance. The unions claimed that the e-auction of coal blocks and allowing private companies to buy coal from open markets was tantamount to privatisation of the sector.
The minister stressed that the government had no plans of denationalising CIL and that the workers’ jobs were secure. He also added that there was no question of the government giving any sort of concessions, even related to the ordinance, the minister said.
PowerMin cancels UMPP bids
New Delhi: The government has abandoned the bidding process of two ultra mega power projects (UMPPs) in Orissa and Tamil Nadu and will soon set up a committee to move it forward. “It has been done (scrapping of bids). Unfortunately, we did not received the response we expected,” power minister Piyush Goyal said. The private firms withdrew their bids citing difficulties in securing finances for these projects.