Panel opposes proposal of separating CMPDIL from Coal India: Sources

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KOLKATA, June 28 (PTI): A five-member panel has opposed the proposal of separating Central Mines Planning and Design Institute Ltd (CMPDIL) from Coal India, saying that the move could not be helpful for the miner which is pursuing a target of producing one billion tonne of the dry fuel by 2023-24, sources said on Sunday.

The committee was formed by the miner to assess the proposal and give its suggestions. CMPDIL, a fully-owned subsidiary of the Maharatna PSU, offers technical services to the coal behemoth. The panel comprising five general manager-level officers – one from CMPDIL and four from different departments of Coal India- has submitted its report to the miner by end of May, they said.

“The report prepared by the panel is against the separation of the technical arm of Coal India. It has also been forwarded to the Ministry of Coal for its consideration in the matter,” sources aware of the development told PTI.

“Separating CMPDIL will prove disastrous for both at this time when Coal India was asked to produce one billion tonne of coal by 2023-24 from a level of 600 million tonne now,” the sources said. Coal India had set up the panel to “study of corporate independence of CIL and CMPDIL with critical appraisal of existing structure”.

The government wants the “private sector to have access to a domestic consultancy firm,  which is easily possible without the split of CMPDIL from the miner”, they said.

“If it is separated, there will be a mass exodus of talent from CMPDIL and Coal India will be left in the lurch for over 50 types of services that the technical subsidiary renders at a cost which is less than one per cent of the parent company’s revenue,” the sources said.

All mining majors have their own planning and exploration unit, and Coal India has also created and nurtured it for the same purpose, they said.

“If it is split, CMPDIL will collapse as all executives are recruited by Coal India and they will move back to the Maharatna company,” sources said.

The CMPDIL has already provided services to external agencies, including a West Bengal PSU, without any conflict of interest, an official of the miner said.

“If the CMPDIL’s separation is allowed, works related to the disaster management will suffer as the organisation offers technical support to Coal India in case of fire and mine accidents.  Services from the in-house company are always fast compared to that of the outsourced entities,” he said.

All India Association of Coal Executives (AIACE) Principal General Secretary P K Singh Rathor had opposed the proposal and requested the government to reconsider its plan to separate CMPDIL from the miner.

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