Kolkata: The government will take a call on coal price hike, the second since February, after it reviews the additional burden from the pending new wage agreement.
“We will decide on the coal price hike after we review the burden from the new wage agreement,” union minister of coal Sriprakash Jaiswal said on Monday night on the sidelines of celebrations of ‘Maharatna’ status of Coal India Ltd.
A new wage agreement will be due from this July.
CIL in a complex structure raised coal price by 30% for the unregulated sector, with the hike in certain high grades of coal even 150%, thus garnering around Rs 650 crore additional revenue for the coal miner.
CIL acting chairman N K Jha had earlier said the hike will meet the existing wage agreement burden and another round of price hike is a possibility due to fresh wage agreement due in July.
Jaiswal, in response to criticism of coal price rise in certain quarters, said CIL is a profit making company and it would continue to do so.
“But as the CIL is not a private company, this profit goes back to the poor people of the country by way of government development programmes,” he said apparently justifying the coal price hike.
Coal India unions have also begun exerting pressure on government and CIL by threatening a three-day strike if the company does not raise salaries from next month.
CIL employs some 3.7 lakh workers.
A strike on each day could jeopardise production of upto 1.2 million tonnes.