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By Neha Dasgupta and Krishna N. Das
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Senior Indian government officials tasked by the prime minister with reviewing energy security are recommending the break up of the country's coal monopoly, Coal India Ltd, within a year.
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. They declined to be identified because the information has not been publicly released.
It is unclear whether the proposal will lead to the breakup of Coal India, which has a stock market capitalisation of $28 billion.
Coal India enjoys a monopoly but critics say it is bloated and inefficient. Its output-per-man shift is estimated at one-eighth of Peabody Energy, the world's largest private coal producer that filed for bankruptcy protection this year.
Modi had been exploring a breakup of Coal India even before taking office, Reuters reported in 2014, but the government put the idea on the back burner following protests by powerful worker unions.(http://reut.rs/2gXYD5L)
The proposal to break up Coal India comes from one of these groups - nine top bureaucrats, including from the ministries of coal, power, oil and mines. They were asked to come up with policy proposals to promote energy security and the environment.
(Reporting by Neha Dasgupta and Krishna N. Das; Editing by Neil Fullick)
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