Mumbai: Global environmental lobby group Greenpeace Monday filed a complaint with market regulator SEBI against Coal India alleging that the world's largest coal miner, which is slated to go in for a disinvestment soon, has overstated its extractable reserves by a good 16 percent.
"CIL says its extractable reserves stand at 21.7 billion tonne whereas its own research subsidiary CMPDIL pegs it at 18.2 billion tonne, which is over 16 percent lower," Greenpeace's Ashish Fernandes told reporters.
He said the research report was done in 2011, a year after the company's mega public issue and added the state-run CIL continues to claim its reserves at the inflated level.
"CIL has not informed the exchanges as it should have. It is trying to deceive its present and future shareholders by hiding this fact," he claimed and said Greenpeace has formally complained to securities market watchdog SEBI last week in this regard.
When contacted, a CIL spokesperson said the Greenpeace report has been forwarded to CMPDIL and it will issue an official comment based on the reply from its research arm.
The government is mulling to sell an additional 5 percent stake in the company which will raise up to Rs 10,000 crore for the exchequer this fiscal.
The overstating also impacts the coal dependent thermal power sector and hence, the country's energy security, Fernandes claimed.
He said CIL's claim of 21.7 billion tonne reserves is based on the archaic ISP or Indian standard procedures code, which was junked by the government in 2001 itself for the universally accepted United Nations framework classification (UNFC), which has been used by the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Ltd (CMPDIL) for its report.
Asked as to why a body like Greenpeace is getting associated with such an issue, even though the NGO is focussed on environmental issues, he said it also takes up other causes of public interest and has in the past highlighted issues at GVK and Aryan Coal Benefications.
Additionally, to meet production targets in the interim, CIL will also compromise on a lot of details and hence lead to a lot of social conflicts, he claimed.
CIL is targeting to increase its production by 8 percent annually during the 12th Plan and will exhaust its reserves in 17 years, he said.
Fernandes said Greenpeace has also written to the company, but has not heard from them as yet.
First Published: Monday, September 23, 2013, 22:13