The government earlier this year announced opening up of coal mining sector to the private players ending monopolistic status that Coal India Limited (CIL) enjoyed up till now. However, this development doesn’t concern the single largest producer of coal in the world. The opening up of the coal mining sector is a challenge and an opportunity and not a threat for CIL, PTI reported citing its CMD Gopal Singh. It is not the first time that such a step has been taken in the coal sector as as 200 captive blocks were offered earlier to the private players but the exercise had turned out to be a failure, he said.
If the prices of ex-mine (for PSU) and export (for imports) were compared, CIL has for long been selling the cheapest coal in the entire world, he added. For various grades of coal, the prices are 42 percent to 64 percent lower for different grades of coal for Coal India Limited, he added.
CIL’s priority will be to sell coal at a lower price than other private players in order to retain the market leadership status. It could only be done by hiking productivity and efficiency which would lead to falling cost of production, he said. There is a lot of scope to control the expenditure, he added.
The CIL had estimated a despatch plan of 155.36 million tonnes in the first quarter of next fiscal that stands as a growth of 22.13 per cent. The production of coal in 2017-18 would be 567.02 million tonnes.