S. Narsing Rao in Calcutta on Wednesday. A Telegraph picture
Calcutta, Sept. 18: Eastern Coalfields Ltd, the wholly owned subsidiary of Coal India, is expected to come out of the purview of the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) by 2014-15.
Coal India chairman S. Narsing Rao said the net worth of Eastern Coalfields had improved and it was expected to turn around like Bharat Coking Coal Ltd, which also came out of the BIFR.
“Our current assessment is that Eastern Coalfields possibly by 2014-15 will be able to come out of the purview of the BIFR,” Rao said at the 39th annual general meeting of Coal India here today.
ECL was first referred to the BIFR in 1997 after its accumulated losses exceeded its net worth. In 1998, the company turned around after a financial restructuring, which involved the conversion of debts into equity, was undertaken by Coal India. ECL was once again referred to the BIFR in 1999. The company’s net worth has improved since then. As of March 31, its net worth stood at Rs (-) 2,458.60 crore against Rs (-) 4,946.85 crore a year ago.
During the April-August period, both production and offtake from ECL have surpassed its target.
Coal India is looking to import 15 million tonnes (mt) of coal for power utilities to meet its annual contracted supply commitment.
“We have received interest for supply of 15mt from independent power producers and state-owned entities,” said B.K. Saxena, director (marketing) of CIL.
Saxena added that about 55-60 companies, which mostly include power producers, state generation companies and DVC, are willing to allow CIL to import on their behalf. However, NTPC has not yet sought a similar assistance from CIL.
The miner will float a tender this fiscal to select the importing agency (such as MMTC and STC) and the import may start from 2014-15.
According to the regulations in the fuel supply agreement, 65 per cent of the contracted coal will be supplied by CIL from domestic sources, while 15 per cent will be done through imports.
CIL director R. Mohan Das said officials would meet the unions on Friday to try to avert the proposed three-day strike beginning from September 23.