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Coal ministry says that coal-block allotment to private players would only be done through a bidding process in the future
The country’s largest coal producer Coal India Ltd (CIL) has seen an estimated two-fold jump in profit to Rs10,616 crore in 2009-10, coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said today, reports PTI.
Profits of CIL for 2009-10 stood at Rs10,616 crore, which is almost double of last year's figure, Mr Jaiswal told reporters.
In 2008-09, CIL had registered a profit-before-tax of Rs4,238.58 crore, which the company said was low on account of the over Rs5,000 crore wage revision for its employees.
The minister further said that the company’s IPO is likely to be launched in August, which will see the Centre divesting 10% of its stake in the coal major. The government at present holds 100% stake in the company.
Mr Jaiswal said that almost 90% of the coal produced in the country was of “average quality” and it was trying to get coal properties outside the country to meet requirements.
Though the average quality coal can be used in thermal plants, the country required good quality for cement, paper and other industries for blending it with the one available with the country, he added.
Mr Jaiswal said that henceforth, coal-block allotment to private players would be only through bidding process.
“Only the highest bidder would be given coal blocks in the country, as it was found that private players were acquiring them as property assets,” the minister said adding that an amendment Bill for the same is awaiting a Parliamentary nod.
He, however, stressed that under the government dispensation, the Centre would decide on allotting coal blocks to states demanding them, but it would be only on merit.
“It would be seen which state is making the demand first and the status of its power plants besides considering other merits before allotting coal blocks,” the minister added.