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Monday, Aug 23, 2004

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Ministry creates new post for suspended Coal India chief

Badal Sanyal

Kolkata , Aug. 22

THE Union Ministry for Coal has created a new post "supernumerary" to accommodate the company's suspended Chairman, Mr N.K. Sharma.

The CIL chairman's post has been declared "vacant" with effect from August 16, and a notice has been issued asking the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) to initiate the process of completing the procedure to fill the vacancy.

Mr Sharma will be entitled to full salary and benefits similar to that of a permanent chairman, but will act "without speaking parts" or authority. The incumbent acting Chairman, Mr Sashi Kumar, who is also Director (Marketing) of CIL, has been asked to continue till a permanent chairman is appointed, a CIL source said.

It is not clear whether the charges levelled against Mr Sharma by the CBI, the reason for his suspension, have been withdrawn or not. A CIL source said that the arrangement was unprecedented in CIL's history.

Meanwhile, PESB has expedited the process of selecting new chairmen & managing directors for five subsidiaries of CIL where the present CMDs will retire in the next six months or so. These subsidiaries include: Eastern Coalfields Ltd, Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, Western Coalfields Ltd, Central Coalfields Ltd and Central Mine Planning & Design Institute. The interview dates for selection of new CMDs have been fixed for August 23, 24 and 25.

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