Coal India to hike prices only after wage revision

Coal India to hike prices only after wage revision

Leh: The proposed price hike by state-run Coal India Ltd (CIL) is unlikely before the beginning of next year and will take place after evaluating the impact of the wage revision, a top company official said on Monday.

“The quantum of price revision will be done on the basis of the wage revision. We had two meetings since August this year on wage revision. A third meeting of the wage committee is going to happen in November, but the final decision is unlikely to be taken before December. Price revision will happen after that," CIL chairman N C Jha told PTI here.

CIL has 3.8 lakh employees and wages account for 40% of its production cost, Jha said.

He said the additional burden due to increased wages could not be ascertained immediately as this would entirely depend upon the quantum of raise the wage committee decides.

Any price revision by CIL could impact the bottom-line of several firms since the company accounts for around 80% of the country’s coal production.

Jha said that the revision in coal prices will have to be effected post the wage revision as otherwise it will have a huge burden on the company.

The wages of CIL employees were last raised in 2006 and the CIL employees recently gave a strike call demanding a 100-500% rise in pay package.

Although a voluntarily retirement scheme is in place in the company, very few have sought this option.

CIL HR director R Mohan Das said the management has already conveyed to the unions that such a steep hike could not be possible and urged them to work on the level of percentage hike. CIL has five major operating unions.

The company had raised the price of coal in 2009 for all products and a partial revision was undertaken in February 2011. Although coal pricing has been deregulated since the beginning of 2000, the government still plays a role in determining the price.

On an average, the price of coal produced by CIL is cheaper by 50% as compared to the international price of the commodity.