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The Coal Ministry on Wednesday turned down a proposal by an expert panel to hive off Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Ltd (CMPDI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Coal India Ltd (CIL), into a separate company.
The ministry, however, is in favour of creating a technical body on the lines of Directorate General of Hydrocarbons or Central Electricity Authority to guide it in issues of coal resource utilisation, according to sources.
The `Advisory group for integrated development of power, coal and renewable energy' headed by former power minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday met various stakeholders in the industry, including CMPDI, in Delhi.
In its interim report the group observed that the consultancy arm of CIL be separated.
BusinessLine , on Wednesday, reported that the coal unions interpreted the move as a ploy to allow the private consulting arms to get a share of CIL's business and, decided to oppose it.
Sources said during the course of Wednesday's meeting, coal secretary SK Srivastava urged the advisory group to not disturb the existing set up of CIL as it might have a major impact on the national miner's production planning at this juncture.
Quoting his discussion with the coal and power minister Piyush Goyal (who was not present in today's meeting), Srivastava pointed out the administrative and technical hurdles in implementing the proposal
"It will not be proper at this junctureas everything will be messed up," he reportedly said in the meeting.
New technical body
The coal secretary further pointed out that in the days to come the Government does not want to `overburden' CMPDI with industry issues. Apart from serving the interests of CIL; the Ranchi-based organisation currently doubles as the technical wing of the ministry.
It was engaged for assessing the geological reserves of coal blocks and shale gas blocks distributed in the past. It was also asked to conduct the failed auction of coal blocks earlier this year.
In the days ahead, the ministry will have its own technical wing, Srivastava told the panel. He, however, did not make it clear if the new body will be a part of the proposed coal regulator.
The advisory group on its part have also discussed the possibility in the previous rounds of meeting.
Before demitting office, the Manmohan Singh government hastily issued an ordinance to appoint a toothless regulator, which is put on hold by the Narendra Modi government.
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