Disinvestment of Coal India on cards, discloses minister

June 16th, 2009 - 6:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) The government is considering divesting up to 10 percent stake in the state-run Coal India Ltd, the country’s largest coal miner, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said here Tuesday.
“We are working on a proposal to disinvest 5 to 10 percent stake in Coal India. I have informally told about this to the finance minister (Pranab Mukherjee),” Jaiswal told reporters here.

The government is also planning to offer the company’s shares to people from whom it acquires land for mining. Another proposal to offer equities to company employees is also being considered, Jaiswal said.

The minister said he had requested the finance minister to reduce custom duty on heavy mining equipment.

Jaiswal had said Monday that the government was “strongly considering” allowing commercial coal mining by private companies in a bid to bridge the demand-supply gap.

Currently, only state-run firms are allowed to mine for commercial use. India produces over 450 million tonnes of coal annually.

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