New Delhi, Feb 21 (PTI) Central trade unions AITUC and CITU have strongly opposed the government decision to allow commercial coal mining by private firms.
The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) vehemently condemns the decision of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) to open the coal mining sector for commercial mining by private and foreign corporate that too without any restriction on pricing and end-use, a CITU statement said.
It said that so long private sector was allowed to mine coal only for captive use in power, cement and steel industry and debarred from selling the coal in market.
The union said that such a retrograde decision by the Centre is nothing but a total reversal of the four decade long policy of nationalised coal mining which contributed immensely to industrial development as well as expansion of the power generation capacity in the country, it said.
Such opening up of coal mining sector for unhindered exploitation by private and foreign corporate without any restriction on pricing and end-use will definitely pave the way for weakening and privatisation of public sector coal industry, both Coal India and Singareni Collieries Ltd, thereby affecting the coal production for both public and industrial consumption as a whole, it said.
The proliferation of private coal mining will also severely compromise the rights and safety of the workers deployed in private mining, further withdrawal of all restriction in pricing of coal and their end-use will increase the burden on the people many times, it said.
The CITU welcomes the immediate response of the All India Coal Workers‚?? Federation(CITU) through organising protest demonstrations within next few days in the coal mines throughout the country in both Coal India and Singareni Collieries Ltd.
The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) also strongly opposes the decision of the Centre to start commercial coal mining, saying it will serve the interest of capitalists of Indian and foreign origin.
The government should have thought before taking the decision of commercial coal mining that why the operating coal mines were nationalised in the year 1973. The private players of coal mines have destroyed the coal mines, the facts of Jharia, Ramgarh coal field are the clear examples to prove this, the AITUC said.
The private owner will not only destroy the coal industry but also the workers employed by them will be pushed into extreme exploitation, it said. The AITUC said the government instead of owning up responsibility for the loot of Nirav Modi in Punjab National Bank and making efforts for the recovery of people‚??s money is handing over public assets to private sector.
The country is plunged into a crisis, whereas this government takes decision to favour the corporate houses and big business houses, it said.
Coal sector accounts for around 70 per cent of the country‚??s power generation. This decision of the government will undermine the energy security. The AITUC strongly opposed the decision of the government and demanded for roll back of the same. They called upon the workers and unions of the coal sector to fight against this retrograde step to pressurise the Centre for withdrawn of commercial mining. PTI KKS MKJ -