Coal India Unions to Meet on December 15 Over Mines Bill

Coal India Unions to Meet on December 15 Over Mines Bill

New Delhi: Stating that the Coal Mines Bill passed by the Lok Sabha on Friday would pave way for privatisation of the sector and hamper Coal India's interests, trade unions of the public sector undertaking have said they would chalk out a strategy on December 15 to oppose any such move.

"Five trade unions of Coal India - INTUC, BMS, HMS, AITUC and CITU had opposed any move to privatise coal sector and had proposed a strike on November 24, which was withdrawn on government assurance that it will hold discussions with unions before introducing the Bill in Parliament," Rashtriya Koyala Khadan Mazdoor Sangh said on Friday.

The trade union said in a statement that unfortunately, the government did not consult the unions and the passage of the Bill in the Lower House would result in a setback to Coal India and Singareni Colliery.

"The five unions will hold a meeting in Ranchi on December 15 to chalk out a strategy to oppose the injustice," it said.

The statement said the Bill will pave way for privatisation of the sector.

The reaction of the union came soon after the Lok Sabha passed the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, which replaces and Ordinance promulgated in October, paving way for auction of 204 mines cancelled by the Supreme Court in September.

The Bill provides for "allocation of coal mines and vesting of the right, title and interest in and over the land and mine infrastructure, together with mining leases, to successful bidders and allottees through a transparent bidding process".

Coal Minister Piyush Goyal, however, had allayed concerns raised by some members that the new legislation would pave the way for de-nationalisation or privatisation of the coal sector, and that the government is, in fact, "strengthening" Coal India Limited.

Earlier, accusing the government of trying to 'privatise' the coal sector, unions had announced a day-long strike on November 24 demanding scrapping of the move, which was called off later.

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