Coal unions oppose Coal India divestment

Major coal unions today voiced opposition to the government's move to sell its stake in Coal India. The five unions say the firm is competent enough to meet its financing needs and have demanded infrastructure status for the sector.

In a statement, the unions expressed strong resentment at the proposal of the government of India to disinvest the shareholding of Coal India in the share market.

The government is considering offloading up to 10 per cent of its stake in Coal India to ensure early listing on the bourses.

On behalf of the five unions including the Indian Mine Workers Federation, CITU said, "Coal India is competent enough to produce all requirements if the government provides and gives adequate facilities and the coal industry is given infrastructure status."

The trade unions are opposing all amendments to the present act that would facilitate the stake sale in CIL and entry of private firms into mining coal. Further they are also against the allotment of blocks to private firms for use on a captive basis.

They have already voiced their opposition to allotment of virgin coal blocks in general and coal blocks within CIL's jurisdiction being handed over to private sector companies. They demand that all blocks be handed over to Coal India.