In­dia’s min­is­ter de­nies plan to split Coal In­dia

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

In­dia’s power and coal min­is­ter Piyush Goyal said yes­ter­day there was no value in split­ting up In­dia’s big­gest coal pro­ducer Coal In­dia Ltd and de­nied any plans to break it up. In a pre­sen­ta­tion seen by Reuters on Thurs­day, gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials rec­om­mend that Coal In­dia with a stock mar­ket val­u­a­tion of $28 bil­lion should be bro­ken up into seven com­pa­nies, which they say would make it more com­pet­i­tive and ef­fi­cient. The pro­posal, dated Nov. 30, is ex­pected to be pre­sented to Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi soon, three gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials with di­rect knowl­edge of the sit­u­a­tion said.

But Goyal said on the side­lines of an in­vest­ment sum­mit held in the cap­i­tal city of the eastern state of Odisha that the re­port was “un­founded” and “un­true”. “I haven’t seen it. If some­body else has seen it then I don’t know,” Goyal said, re­fer­ring to the pro­posal. “I have made my view known in June 2014. Coal In­dia’s strength comes from it be­ing one com­pany,” Goyal said.

Goyal also said he has asked the board of state-owned alu­minium pro­ducer Na­tional Alu­minium Co. to “re­con­sider” a pro­posal to set up a smelter in Iran. The com­pany, ma­jor­ity owned by the gov­ern­ment, had been scout­ing for an over­seas lo­ca­tion to set up a smelt­ing plant. “I be­lieve that we should Make-In-In­dia... Ideally it should be in Odisha where the ma­te­rial is mined,” Goyal said. — Reuters

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