The Coal Ministry has invited proposals from nine shortlisted firms, including ICICI Securities, KPMG, Ernst & Young, McKinsey, Deloitte and Crisil, for restructuring of state-run miner Coal India.

“Invitation to respond to the RFP (Request for Proposal) is open to the nine firms,” the Coal Ministry said. The ministry further said it will select a consulting firm “from the bids received in response to the RFP.”

The government had invited an expressions of interest earlier this year with regard to providing consultancy for Coal India (CIL) restructuring, and 17 firms including SBI Capital and Infosys had responded to the proposal.

“Out of the 17 companies, nine firms have qualified for the next stage of bidding,” the ministry said.

An interactive meeting under the chairmanship of Additional Secretary for Coal A.K. Dubey with the representatives of the nine firms was held last month.

The Coal Ministry had earlier informed the Prime Minister’s Office about the appointment of consultants with international expertise and to frame timeline to take forward the proposal on restructuring of the state-owned miner.

The Planning Commission and many high-level panels, including Expert Committee on Road Map for coal sector reforms - also known as T.L. Shankar Committee - recommended restructuring of CIL keeping in view the rapidly increasing demand of coal and the need for enhancing coal production and to make the coal sector competitive.

It has been proposed to take up a study “to assess the need for restructuring of CIL in light of the avoidance of drawbacks inherent in a monopolistic situation and to prepare a road map for smooth transition towards proposed restructuring”, among others, the ministry said.

The Planning Commission has earlier suggested spinning off CIL subsidiaries into separate entities so that each one of them can pursue its own goals, amid growing supply deficit of coal.

World’s largest coal miner CIL has seven subsidiaries including Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL), Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL), and Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) and Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Ltd. The coal producer has 3.71 lakh employees.

The Coal Ministry had recently said the gap between demand and supply of coal which touched 135 million tonnes last fiscal may reach 140 MT this fiscal.

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