Kolkata: The union coal ministry has appointed additional coal secretary Suresh Kumar chairman and managing director of Coal India Ltd (CIL). Kumar has taken charge with effect from Monday, the state-owned miner announced in a regulatory filing.

CIL has not had a full-time chairman and managing director for the past eight months since Sutirtha Bhattacharya retired in August.

Kumar replaces Gopal Singh, who was brought in from Central Coalfields Ltd, a subsidiary where he was the chairman.

A CIL official who asked not to be named said the government had been trying to find someone suitable for the job for almost a year. Singh was initially appointed for a six-month term, which was later extended, he added.