You are here: Home » Companies » News
Business Standard

Central Coalfields' Gopal Singh appointed as interim chairman of Coal India

Singh will continue to head Coal India until a regular full-time chairman is appointed

Avishek Rakshit  |  Kolkata 

coal india

The union coal ministry has appointed the current chairman of (CCL), as the interim chairman of the world's largest coal miner Coal India, after it failed to select a whole time candidate to head the Maharatna Company.

Sources said, the ministry has communicated to the company - a day after Sutirtha Bhattacharya, the immediate past chairman retired on August 31 - that will be given the additional charge of chairman of apart from his regular duty to head CCL.

"Singh will continue to head until a regular full time chairman is appointed", a senior company executive said.
Interestingly, Singh had applied for the top job in April this year sending his resume to the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB). However, the PESB, rejected Singh along with five other applicants stating that it hasn't found any applicants suitable for the post. Business Standard was the first to report about Singh's application.

"His application was rejected by the PESB as it found him not suitable to head the company. However, he now has been given the interim charge", a company official wondered.

Namely a person from the technical field, Singh took charge as chairman and managing director of CCL on March 2012. Graduating from the Indian School of Mines in 1981 and thereafter obtaining degrees in opencast mining and an MBA in human resources management, Singh had shouldered various responsibilities including Director Technical (Project & Planning) at South Eastern Coalfields Ltd, Chief General Manager at the same subsidiary and under other portfolios in CCL.
Amid peers, Singh is credited to have been instrumental in achieving highest production level of 112 million tonne with a record gross profit of Rs 3,777 crore in 2010-11 in SECL which led to this subsidiary being granted a Mini Ratna Category-I status.

Until August 31, top company officials were unaware of these developments as they had no information of what the coal ministry was thinking.

Senior officials met the coal ministry for a review meeting in end-August and were expecting the ministry to end the suspense. However, no names were declared on who will be heading the monolith.
The trade unions, which are currently negotiating to sign the wage revision agreement, were also in the dark about the future top boss of the company.

After the four central trade unions in failed to reach an agreement with the company owing to differences ranging from employment issues to discussion over contract workers, the next meeting has been scheduled on September 18-19.

The trade unions met senior company officials on August 31, the day, Sutirtha Bhattacharya retired, to officially conclude the agreement, but differences cropped up in the meeting and conclusion of the agreement was deferred.

In the meantime, faced with rising expenses, primarily on account of wages, has doubled the Rapid Loading Silo charges from which, it expects to earn Rs. 527 crore per annum which will help the Maharatna public sector enterprise mitigate a part of the rising costs. The trade unions and has agreed over a 20 per cent hike for non-executive employees while for executive roles a 15 per cent increment has been given by the company.


First Published: Fri, September 01 2017. 19:26 IST