Even as the prospect of closing the year with a sizable shortfall in production looms for Coal India Ltd (CIL), some of the subsidiaries seen as laggards in production and financial performance are set to do well in 2010-11.

Among these are: Bharat Coking Coal, which is expected to end the year exceeding its target and also booking a Rs.1,000-crore profit. Also in the list are: Eastern Coalfields and Central Coalfields (CCL) both of which are expected to hit their respective output targets this year. These companies were close to their targets in the first-half of the year although CCL was 3.5 million tonnes behind its target. But there is optimism within CIL that all three will meet their annual targets.

This is important for CIL since it is trailing its half-yearly target by 18.26 million tonnes till September with all seven coal producing subsidiaries missing their targets in the first half of 2010-11. This is partly planned, since the company opened the year with a coal stock of 63 million tonnes caused mainly by transport bottlenecks stifling offtake. This stock has now been reduced by 15 million tonnes, according CIL's Director, Production, T. K. Jha.

Sources said that while among the star performers, the Chhattisgarh-based South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL) was likely to exceed its target, the remaining three — Northern Coalfields, Western Coalfields and Mahanadi Coalfields — would close the year with a shortfall in their production. This is partly due to problems over offtake, law and order and land acquisition problems as also due to delay in contract renewal due to litigation as in the case of Northern Coalfields which is based in Uttar Pradesh. CIL's annual target this year is 461 million tonnes.

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