Panel raps Coal Indias outsourcing plan

New Delhi, March 23 | Updated: Mar 24 2006, 05:30am hrs
Coal India Ltds move to outsource certain mining activities as part of its exercise to reduce cost and increase production has come under the scanner of a parliamentary committee.

The parliamentary standing committee on coal and steel has rapped Coal India Limited for fudging cost figures to justify outsourcing and has asked it to chalk out a plan to minimise this activity to ensure full capacity utilisation of men and machines at its disposal.

Coal India Limited had tried to justify outsourcing by furnishing comparative figures of cost of production in Bhubaneswari, Kamah and Kulda opencast projects where some mining activities have been outsourced.

The committee was surprised that Coal India Limited while calculating the cost of mining in outsourced projects, had completely ignored the expenditure being incurred on the heavy machines and work force that lay idle due to outsourcing, the committee observed in its 14th report submitted in Parliament on Wednesday.

The comments came in the light of observations on the outsourcing of certain coal production activities and transportation of coal and sand in some mines of Coal India Limiteds subsidiaries, the report said.

Expressing concern over the possibilities of corruption and exploitation of labour in the outsourced activity, it said though measures were being taken to protect the interests of workers, possibilities that they could be exploited remained.

Coal India Limited should ensure that the terms and conditions laid down in the contract with private companies were strictly adhered to, the report said, adding due preference be given to companies utilising the services of the separated workers.