The Coal Ministry will appoint consultants with international expertise and frame timeline to take forward the proposal on restructuring of the state-owned miner CIL.
Coal Secretary S K Srivastava has informed the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) that "(on restructuring of CIL) consultants with international experience would be hired. MoC (Ministry of Coal) would chart out timeline for taking the matter forward", according to an official document.
The matter had also come up for discussion during a high-level meeting held in October which was also attended by the Coal Secretary.
On the recommendation of T L Shankar Committee to restructure Coal India Ltd, the state-owned firm had asked for comments from TCS among others.
The Planning Commission has also suggested spinning off CIL subsidiaries into separate entities so that each one of them can pursue its own goals, amid growing supply deficit of coal.
"The industry would be better served if the subsidiaries were spun off as separate public sector companies, encouraged to develop their own strategies of coal development including joint venture activities and acquisition of assets abroad," said the 12th Five Year (2012-17) Plan document.
World's largest coal miner CIL has subsidiaries like Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL), Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL), and Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL).
The document also recommended setting up of a high-level committee with the task of examining the option and asking it to submit a report within six months.
The Planning Commission has estimated that the coal import could go up to 185 million tonnes (MT) at the end of the 12th Plan based on total coal demand of 980 MT and domestic supply of 795 MT.
Imports could further increase if the domestic production does not grow by 8 per cent as projected. India's coal output was 540 MT during 2011-12 against the demand of 640 MT.