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Coal India hopes to avert three-day strike

Special Correspondent
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S. Narsing Rao
S. Narsing Rao

In a bid to avert a three-day strike call given by all five central trade unions, senior executives of the public sector Coal India Ltd. (CIL) will meet representatives of the e unions, CIL’s director personnel R Mohandas said at the company’s annual general meeting here on Wednesday.

The trade unions are opposing the proposed divestment of another 10 per cent of government stake in CIL, which went public in November 2010. The government scaled down its stake sale plans to five per cent to carry along the unions. Despite this, the unions had chosen to serve a strike notice after rounds of discussions, clubbing some other demands to their charter.

Indications are that the strike (slated to begin on September 23) may be averted, as there has been progress in the talks over the service issue-related demands.

Disruption at the AGM

The company’s AGM was disrupted at the start when irate shareholders, who were denied entry, created a ruckus.

It was learnt that an Internet connectivity snag led to this problem, which was resolved following the intervention of senior officials. “However, most of them left after registering their attendance and collecting their refreshment coupon without attending the meeting,” an official said.

Imports

Director Marketing B K Saxena said that CIL might need to import about 15 million tonnes of coal next fiscal, and some 50 power companies had shown interest in buying that coal.

In his address to shareholders, CIL Chairman S. Narsing Rao said that the company was implementing 148 projects with an ultimate capacity of 446.75 million tonnes with a sanctioned capital outlay of Rs. 32,004.5 crore. However, only 90 of these projects had received forestry and environmental clearances.

As a many as 126 projects had been identified for the future with an estimated a capacity of 438 million tonnes, Mr. Rao said.


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