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Web Exclusive | May 2013

Ministry wants resolution of key issues before CIL stake sale

Agency reports indicate that union coal ministry wants the Department of Disinvestment (DoD) to move ahead with the divestment of stake in Coal India (CIL) after key issues are resolved.

The 10 per cent equity sale in the coal miner was cleared by an Inter-ministerial Group (IMG) and this may fetch the government over Rs 17,000 crore. The government, at present holds 90 per cent stake in it.

It may be noted that the state-run miner faces key issues like labour tension, pending dues of Rs 9,000 crore from power producers.

CIL is yet to receive about Rs 9,000 crore owed by power utilities, including NTPC and DVC for coal sourced from the former.

Coal ministry already asked power ministry to ensure steps for payment of dues, including about Rs 3,000 crore by NTPC, to CIL.

In a letter to the Department of Disinvestment (DoD), the coal ministry opined that going ahead with the stake sale process in CIL is not advisable till power utilities including NTPC clear its dues and labour issues are resolved.

Both CIL and NTPC had locked horns over the issue as the power producer had refused to honour about Rs 1,000 crore bills of CIL subsidiary Eastern Coalfields (ECL) saying that the quality of fuel supplied was inferior.

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