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Private players in coal sector need of hour: CMD MCL

Bhubaneswar: Commercialization of coal is need of the hour for the nation to bring down the outflow of valuable foreign exchange, said BN Shukla, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL).  

He said the liberalization of sector will not have any impact on Coal India which has sufficient reserves.

In his appeal to the striking employees and their leadership to resume operations, Shukla said, “At the time when country is facing COVID-19 pandemic and threat from neighboring countries, we are required to stay united in the interest of the nation.”    

The CMD said that producing one billion tonne coal for country by 2023-24 was an uphill task for Coal India, and private players would supplement Coal India’s production for bridging the energy deficit.          

Moreover, commercialisation of the coal mining in India is need of the hour to swiftly enhance coal production to meet the growing energy requirement, said Shukla.

He emphasised that no government company had shown interest to take up the offered coal blocks since they are very difficult to mine.      

Coal Ministry has also clarified that there is full thrust on Coal India to achieve 1000 million tonne dry fuel production by 2023-24, while India is importing about 250 million tonne, including 40 to 50 million tonne coking coal, for meeting its energy demand and paying Rs 1.5 lakh crore in foreign currency, besides losing on DMF, royalty and employment to local people.

The Ministry has also clarified that there were no plan for privatization of Coal India or any of its subsidiary. Further, no coal block allotted to Coal India is being given to any private player.

In view of these facts, the CMD said,“There is no reason which justifies this strike and doing such activities will help Coal India produce sufficient coal to reduce the import.”

While reminding that the Government of Odisha had declared coal mining as essential service under ESMA, the CMD urged striking employees to return to work without further delay.

Mining operations were paralysed today following a call of a 3 day strike by Central Trade Unions against the commercialisation of coal.