Left trade union, CITU, has said that it would resist any attempt to privatise coal industry by strikes and struggles.

Reacting to the reported statement of Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, pitching for privatisation of coal, Rajya Sabha MP and General Secretary of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Tapan Sen, said the argument for privatisation of coal was based on false premises that Coal India Ltd (CIL) is incapable of mining and supplying coal to fulfil power plants’ needs leading to the country’s growing reliance on imports.

In a statement here on Friday, Sen alleged that the Government was itself not allowing CIL to produce more coal by not clearing the new projects prepared by Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Ltd, a CIL subsidiary, and by taking away 55 major coal blocks from CIL arms and handing these over to private companies such as Tatas, Reliance etc.

He also blamed the Government’s failure in infrastructure development, particularly of railway transportation for the evacuation of accumulated coal from pitheads to their destination, for CIL’s decision to cut production.

Sen demanded that all coal blocks, allocated to private companies for captive use, be scrapped and CIL be given statutory responsibility of all mining and allocation of coal and sought full autonomy to CIL in respect of capital investment, equipment procurement and manpower augmentation to expand its production network.

Aditi.n@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on January 4, 2013)
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