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BCCL turns around, makes maiden profit since inception

By Staff
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Kolkata, Apr 06 (UNI) In a massive turnaround of business, the Public sector Bharat Coking Coal Limited has posted a maiden profit of Rs 156.11 crores as on March 31, the first since its inception in 1971.

Claiming this to be a landmark achievement in the 35 year old history of BCCL, also a subsidiary of Coal India Limited(CIL), its Chairman and Managing Director Partha S Bhattacharya said this performance was more creditable since the profitability was calculated after taking into account the full impact of wage revision under the National Coal Wage Agreement amounting to Rs 250 crores per annum.

The real impact of BCCL's maiden profitabily was more useful when it was compared with the previous year's (2004-05) financial performance when the company had made a staggering loss of Rs 959.43 crores, Mr Bhattacharya said and gave full credit to a renewed work culture and a useful team work for the much sought after turnaround.

Speaking to newsmen here today to announce the financial performance of the Dhanbad based PSU, Mr Bhattacharya said the gross net sales and the annual production capacity of the public sector unit had also gone up to Rs 3159.77 crores and 20.8 million tonnes respectively during the last financial year.

He also reiterated his commitment to sustain the all round growth in the coming years and announced a number of forward looking measures to achieve the desired goal.

Elaborating his future plans to sustain the growth besides bringing out the company from the BIFR by 2011-12 through better perfomance and increased productivity particularly in the area of Coking Coal production, the BCCL CMD said they were planning to amalgamate some of the smaller open cast mines into one or two major units besides ousourcing some of the smaller pits for generating higher revenues.

Regarding the amalgamation, he said, the BCCL Board had already approved the amalgamation of North Tisra and South Tisra mines for beeter results, Mr Bhattacharya said adding that they had also been planning to allow private participation in developing the Kapuria block which contained a very high volume of coking coal.

" Though talks are on with a number of private parties including the Tatas, we are yet to decide on the right partner," Mr Bhattacharya announced.

Referring to the urgent need for modernisation of a number of washeries to improve the production level, the BCCL Chairman said despite the financial crunch the Centre had pumped in Rs 600 crores in two instalments for the total overhauling of all washeries under BCCL within the newxt two years.

About the fate of the much-talked about Jharia Action Plan under which about 40,000 odd familes were to be rehabilitated to a new and safe zone from the burning coal fields of Jharia in neighbouring Jharkhand at the earliest, Mr Bhattacharya said after overcoming a lot of political pressure the revised rehabilitation policy had finally been prepared and work was expected to begin soon.

" According to our estimate, despite the continuous burning for the past many years, about five billion tonnes of coal was still believed to remain intact under the surface in Jharia and at least 60 per cent of this huge reserve was in the form of coking coal", Mr Bhattacharya said and indicated the bright future of BCCL.

Asked about his coking coal production target during the current financial year, as this was the prime revenue earner because of the huge demand, the BCCL CMD said from 20.5 million tonnes last year, they planed to increase it to 24.20 million tonnoes by March next when the company's profitability was likely to touch the Rs 175 crore mark from Rs 156.11 crores last year.

UNI ABA KK KLC1530

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