The executives of the Maharatna PSU started a three-day strike...
on March 13 and following assurances from management that it would push for early placement of their demand for performance-linked pay before the Cabinet, they called off the strike a day later.
According to the management the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) had already made a recommendation to approach the Cabinet for modifications vis-à-vis PRP.
A letter was sent by Coal Mines Officers' Association of India (CMOAI) to Coal Secretary SK Srivastava and requested him to place the PRP matter before the Cabinet for approval.
Following the minutes of CoS meet, a Cabinet note was prepared by Ministry of Coal for approval of Cabinet. But as the election code of conduct was in place, the proposal was forwarded to the Election Commission, the letter said in the letter.
The CMOAI said the Election Commission has already made it clear that such permissions are secondary in cases where budget provision have already been made.
"Seventy-five percent advance payment has already been made in the previous four years and regular provision of fund is also being made in accounts by CIL," the CMOAI said pushing for its demand for PRP.
The letter said that "It is a matter of pain that such long demand for payment of PRP and pension has not been finalised in case of Coal India whereas the same is finalised already in other PSUs/Maharatna company."
Coal India Chairman S Narsing Rao said last month that the CoS had recommended approaching the Cabinet but "since the elections are around the corner, the government needs to go to the Election Commission on the issue."
The management had sought four to five weeks for a final decision as "the Cabinet will only approve the proposal if the Election Commission agrees to it," Rao said.
CMOAI has drawn the Coal Ministry's attention to an EC letter that says it has no objection in case of ministries seeking clearance on financial matters while the model code of conduct is in force.
The letter further said the amounts allocated for such works need to be parked separately and the proposals are "subject to the condition that the implementation of the same is taken up after the election is over."
Coal India Limited (CIL) came into being in November 1975 with the government taking over private coal mines. With a modest production of 79 Million Tonnes (MTs) at the year of its inception CIL today is the single largest coal producer in the world. Operating through 81 mining areas CIL is an apex body with 7 wholly owned coal producing subsidiaries and 1 mine planning and consultancy company spread over 8 provincial states of India.