The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Special status awaits CCL

New Delhi, Sept. 4 (PTI): Coal India Limited (CIL) is likely to add one more feather on its cap, with the coal ministry finalising modalities to grant “mini-ratna” status to its subsidiary Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) next month.

“CCL is likely to be conferred the mini-ratna status by October as it has become eligible for the same after having fulfilled the required criteria as envisaged by the department of public enterprises,” a top coal ministry official said.

The public sector coal behemoth and four of its profit-making subsidiaries — Mahanadi Coalfields, Northern Coalfields, South Eastern Coalfields and Western Coalfields — have already been conferred the mini-ratna status.

The said status, if conferred, would provide more operational autonomy to the CIL subsidiary and enable it chalk out outlays under parameters set by the Centre.

“What encouraged was that CCL had successfully wiped out its losses and is likely to become among the top-notch subsidiaries of the CIL,” he said, adding that the company has initiated programmes to improve its overall production and that its performance indicators were good.

CIL and its subsidiaries, including CCL, registered profit before tax and dividend of Rs 8,212.69 crore (provisional) during 2006-07 which was Rs 464 crore less than that previous fiscal during which the coal PSU made a profit of Rs 8676.72 crore.

In 2005-06, CCL’s net profit has been Rs 748.27 crore which was more than the previous fiscal figure, mainly due to increase in production, productivity and sales turnover. The capital expenditure during 2005-06 was Rs 335.02 crore against Rs 263.49 crore in the previous fiscal.

The CIL subsidiary employs 34,993 people and has paid up capital of Rs 940 crore.

Until 2004-05, two CIL subsidiaries — Eastern Coalfields and Bharat Coking Coal —were incurring losses. In 2005-06, with the turnaround of both these companies, all the subsidiaries of CIL came into profits. With all companies reporting profits in 2006-07, the coal behemoth has maintained its tempo of being upwardly mobile.

“We are concerned on improving the performance of BCCL which is trying its best to wriggle out of fiscal morass. We are keenly monitoring its performance,” he said.

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