The coal ministry is understood to have suggested to the incoming NDA government that restructuring Coal India (CIL) may have pitfalls and there is no credible reason to de-nationalise the country’s coal mines.
While the buzz is growing that the NDA government may explore restructuring CIL to dismantle its monolithic structure and enable each of its six subsidiaries to plan and produce coal as per their capabilities, but doing so can invite censure from trade unions and lead to loss of coherence among its subsidiaries in ironing out issues in mining operations, the ministry has said.
The ministry is willing to allow CIL adequate freedom to plan and execute its own evacuation infrastructure to lessen dependence on the railways, thereby having greater control over movement of the mined coal, and has proposed expediting the greenfield rail infrastructure.
Considering that CIL has fallen 20 million tonnes short of its targeted 482 million tonnes in FY14, the ministry has prescribed that annual production targets should be reasonably fixed keeping in view of the mining hurdles and a sizeable number of mines rendered stranded owing to land acquisition issues.
Offload stake in steel PSUs
New Delhi: The steel ministry has suggested that the incoming NDA government should reduce its holding in public sector steel companies to 51 per cent and utilise the proceeds for “national development”.
In a presentation prepared for cabinet secretary Ajit Seth on Tuesday, the steel ministry portrayed a grim picture of the ongoing expansion and modernisation of state-run SAIL and RINL, which together entail an expenditure of nearly
Rs 1 lakh crore. “Expansion of SAIL is now delayed by more than three years and RINL by over a year. Even the expansion of a resource PSU like NMDC is also delayed by over two years,” the ministry said.
The government currently holds 80 per cent stake in SAIL and bringing it down to 51 per cent would unlock financial resources to the tune of Rs 10,400 crore at Wednesday’s market price.
The ministry has also highlighted that 44 captive coal projects pertaining to the iron and steel industry are stuck for want of clearances.