New Delhi: Pulling up Coal India for sitting on a huge idle cash-pile, the Planning Commission has asked the state-run firm to step up investment in domestic coalfields and acquisition abroad.
     
"In spite of large financial resources, the pace of the investment by CIL has been extremely poor, resulting in slow growth of domestic coalfields or even acquisition abroad," said the 12th Five Year (2012-17) Plan document.
     
"This is a serious shortcoming and must be remedied in the 12th Plan," it added.
     
The document said CIL had Rs 54,980 crore reserves as on September, 2011 which was likely to go up further during 2012-13.
     
Considering an annual average growth rate of 8.9 percent during the five-year period, the Plan Panel has pegged India's annual coal demand to go up to 980 million tonnes (MT) by the terminal year of 12th Plan against the production of 795 MT,
     
"The incremental production envisaged in the optimistic scenario of the 12th Plan works out to 255 MT," it said, expecting a major contribution to come from CIL.
     
CIL has set a target of producing 464 MT coal in current fiscal which is likely to go up to 615 MT by 2016-17.
     
Meanwhile, the Planning Commission has suggested spinning off CIL's subsidiaries into separate entities so that each one of them can pursue its own goals.
     
"The industry would be better served if the subsidiaries were spun off as separate public sector companies, encouraged to develop their own strategies of coal development including joint venture activities and acquisition of assets abroad," it said.
     
World's largest coal miner CIL has nine subsidiaries that include Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL), Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL), Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) and Central Mine, Planning and Design Institute Ltd (CMPDIL). CIL has 100 percent stake in all of them.
        
The document also recommends setting up of a high-level committee with the task of examining the option of splitting the CIL subsidiaries and asking it to submit a report within six months.

(Agencies)

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