Coal India stake sale halved from Rs 20,000 cr: Sriprakash Jaiswal

Stiff resistance from Coal India trade unions forced govt U-turn.

Written by Press Trust Of India | Published: July 30, 2013 8:14:16 pm

Government has halved to 5 per cent the stake it plans to sell in Coal India,following an agreement with unions today,Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said.

The government’s original plan was to sell 10 per cent stake in Coal India to raise Rs 20,000 crore,but the proposal had met with stiff resistance from trade unions who threatened to go on strike.

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After consultations with unions,the government has now decided to sell only 5 per cent through open market,with the remaining through other options like share buyback.

“This was our third meeting with the trade unions. On the advise of trade unions we have decided that instead of 10 per cent there would disinvestment of 5 per cent (in Coal India),” Jaiswal told reporters here.

“For the remaining five per cent,the government will devise some other mechanism. The trade unions are ready for this,” the Minister said.

When asked what the options are with the government for further 5 per cent stake sale in the company,the Minister said,”There are many options.” He,however,did not elaborate.

Jaiswal also expressed the hope that disinvestment in CIL will happen soon.

The Coal Ministry will again hold a meeting with the trade unions to deliberate on some of the other issues.

A meeting between Coal Ministry and Coal India worker unions held on July 23 to resolve the disinvestment issue had remained inconclusive.

Coal India employees had earlier threatened to go on strike if the government went ahead with 10 per cent stake sale in the PSU major.

“There is no scope for any labour unrest or strike,” Jaiswal had said.

The government currently holds 90 per cent stake in Coal India,which is valued at Rs 1,88,227 crore.

Coal India got listed on bourses in 2010 through the country’s biggest ever initial public offering in which the government raised Rs 15,199 crore by selling 10 per cent stake.

Coal India has a cash balance of about Rs 60,000 crore.

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