Coal India under probe, says fair trade authority

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) said on Thursday that the report on its probe into alleged abuse of market dominance by Coal India Ltd (CIL), the country's and the world's largest coal producer, and its two subsidiaries will be ready in the next 45 days.

The fair trade watchdog is acting on information filed by the Maharashtra State Power Generation Co that CIL and its subsidiaries are abusing their dominant position. The accusation is mainly against the subsidiaries, Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) and Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL).

"On coal, there are three matters before us and all three are with the director general (investigation). The point is quite similar in all the three, and all indicate the role of subsidiaries of Coal India," CCI chairman Ashok Chawla told reporters in New Delhi.

Chawla said power companies have alleged that fuel supply agreements with coal firms are one-sided and there is an abuse of market dominance.

He said power companies have alleged that they are made to sign on the dotted line in coal purchase deals and they do not get the right kind of quality coal, nor the right terms and conditions.

Chawla said the whole matter is under investigation and the report of the director general ''should be with us in the next 45 days''.