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Eastern Coalfields turns the corner

Calcutta, Jan. 2: Eastern Coalfields Ltd, a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd (CIL), has posted an operational profit of around Rs 43 crore against a loss of Rs 242.06 crore between April and December. This maiden profit will pave the way for the company’s turnaround.

In December itself, the company made a profit of Rs 55 crore against Rs 21 crore in the same period last year.

Eastern Coalfields, a BIFR company, has recorded a growth of 9.50 per cent in coal production during the current year compared with the previous year, a release said.

Eastern Coalfields is expected to produce 31.5 million tonnes of coal during the full year. The company hopes to make its networth positive during 2009-10 and come out of the BIFR.

The revival plan of Eastern Coalfields was sanctioned by the BIFR in November 2004, approved by the Controller General of Accounts in December 2004 and recommended by the newly formed Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises in August 2005.

The company is projected to produce 43.74 million tonnes of coal during 2009-10 and 46.91 million tonnes during 2012-13.

This will be achieved mainly by expanding the Rajmahal mines. A global tender has been floated on risk/gain sharing basis to increase production from 10.50 million tonnes to 17 million tonnes.

Two parties have submitted tender for the same. The cabinet committee on economic affairs is expected to consider the project report of Rajmahal expansion soon.

The company has also floated a global tender on the same risk/gain sharing basis for highwell mining, which is being introduced for the first time in India for production of 3.2 million tonnes of coal.

Coal secretary

H.C. Gupta, an Uttar Pradesh cadre IAS officer, has taken over as Union coal secretary following the retirement of P.C Parakh on December 31.

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