Public sector miner Coal India Ltd will decide on the proposal for buyback of shares on September 18.
“We are not ruling out any possibility of buyback. The board will take a call on that. There is an annual general meeting on September 18 and the board will also meet on that day,’’ Coal India Chairman S. Narsing Rao said on Friday.
The company has a debt of $200 million and cash reserves of Rs 62,000 crore, Rao said at a CII conference on Mining Leaders’ Roundtable in the national capital.
The Government is considering if Coal India can buyback shares in case if it is not able to proceed through the 5 per cent disinvestment.
Government targets to mop up Rs 8,000 crore by selling shares in Coal India. This is a key share sale to meet the disinvestment target of Rs 40,000 crore.
The labour unions of Coal India have opposed any share sale. Coal India will hold a meeting on September 11 with its labour unions on this issue.
Rao said that there were just a few fuel supply agreements left to be signed out of the 173 mandated by the Government. The company is not likely to extend Friday's deadline of signing the fuel agreements.
Coal Secretary S.K. Srivastava said out of the 173 FSAs, 140 were signed so far.
The Coal Secretary also said the auction of explored coal blocks is likely to be undertaken in December or by January 2014. Srivastava added that a 'letter of comfort' from the Ministry of Environment & Forests would be given to the successful bidder.
At the same time, there would also be an exit route after a period of two years if the requisite clearances fail to materialise without any penalty. There have been discussions on lumpsum payment or revenue-based models and a framework for the same would be intimated shortly.