Greenpeace, one of the leading NGOs in India, had recently stated that Coal India’s reserves would be diminished by 2030 but recently Narsing Rao, its chairman, has negated the claim. In fact he feels that its reserves will go up to 25 billion tons in the coming three years. At present the reserves of the government owned mining company have been estimated at 18.2 billion tons. The environmental activist group had stated in a report on 23rd September, 2013 that the present figure is being quoted as per the United Nations Framework Classifications (UNFC) that is accepted the world over and has been adopted by Coal India in 2011.
However, the CIL is yet to provide a proper indication of the same to its investors. Incidentally when the public sector organization had given its Initial Public Offering or IPO in 2010 it had quoted a figure of 22.33 billion tons. The figure, mentioned in its prospectus, was calculated according to Indian Standards Procedures Code though. Rao has however stated that from 2011 onwards the company has been adding at least 2.2 billion tons in terms of reserves and it is on basis of this calculation that he feels that by 2016 CIL shall have coal reserves amounting to 25 billion tons.
Rao has however agreed that the company did not inform the stock market regarding the change in quantity owing to a shift in measuring procedures but he reasoned that such a change was basically immaterial and not significant enough to be conveyed to the investors. Incidentally these comments were made at a press conference that was quickly called by CIL to reveal how miffed it was at the Greenpeace report. Rao felt that the intentions behind the report were not exactly positive, even going so far as to term them “sinister” and felt that it would cause problems for the investors in the end and perhaps no one else.
He feels that it is a ploy to make sure that Indian coal mines are closed and the country is forced to depend on coal imported from other countries. Now, from a personal point of view I am not sure as to what effect this shall have on the mines in the country considering the fact that there are plenty of questions regarding the people who own them and the ways in which they are operated. However, it will be interesting to see the effect of this report on the investors. Will they take it seriously? If not, then perhaps the report shall have served no purpose. However, it does seem that their claims may have some justification after all judging by the comments made by Rao and by the fact that a governmental organization had to summon the press to clear out the supposed misgivings that may have resulted from the report of an NGO.