CIL pays record dividend of Rs2,210 crore to government

Coal India Ltd (CIL), the country's top coal miner, has paid a dividend of Rs2,210 crore to the government of India, its largest shareholder, for the financial year 2009-10 ending 31 March 2010.

Sriprakash Jaiswal, minister of coal, statistics and programme implementation, presented the dividend cheque of Rs2,210 crore to prime minister Manmohan Singh on behalf of Coal India Limited today.

The dividend for the fiscal 2009-10 is the highest-ever paid by CIL. It constitutes a 35 per cent return on CIL's paid-up equity capital of Rs6,316.36 crore. During the previous financial year, CIL paid a dividend of 27 per cent amounting to Rs1,705.42 crore.

Coal India, meanwhile, said the government would divest up to 10 per cent stake in the company by July-August.

The company expects to file the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) for its initial public offer with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) by 15 June, CIL chairman Partha S Bhattacharyya said. He was speaking on the sidelines of the 20th Asian Corporate Conference, organised jointly by the Asia Society and the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Bhattacharyya said that CIL proposes to offer about 630 million shares to the public through the IPO. The company is also in talks with SEBI to reserve one per cent or 6.3 million shares for its employees, he said.

The CIL disinvestment is part of the government's larger plan to raise around Rs40,000 crore in the next fiscal from PSU stake sales, to reduce its bulging fiscal deficit.
The government has so far divested in NMDC, NTPC and REC in the current fiscal and a follow-on offer for SAIL and Coal India's IPO are expected soon, he said.

CIL, the chairman said, is also considering two proposals to buy stakes in overseas ventures jointly with the US-based Peabody Energy Corporation. CIL, he said, had received 17 proposals from companies, after it had floated global bids inviting partners for overseas coal mining in July last year.