New Delhi: Amidst government directive to PSUs to invest their surplus funds, Coal India Ltd, which is sitting on huge cash-pile, has lined up Rs 50,000 crore investment plans for the next five years.
"We have investment plans. We have a five-year plan, almost Rs 50,000 crore lined up," Coal India Chairman and Managing Director S Narsing Rao told PTI in an interview.
Earlier, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had said that government had already put PSUs on notice and no state-run firm would be allowed to fall short of the announced intention to invest. "If they (PSUs) have not invested and they still have surplus cash, they have been told to invest...The principle is use it or lose it," the Finance Minister had said.
Rao said the PSU was sitting on a cash reserve of Rs 61,000 crore. "We don't have plan for the entire money. (It is) not possible to front load, because some of them are conditional...Like we have lined up Rs 7,500 crore for railway connectivity," he added.
Battling low production, Coal India (CIL) has earmarked Rs 24,500 crore capital expenditure, out of Rs 50,000 crore envisaged investment, over the next five years mainly to boost capacity.
The Rs 24,500 crore would be spent mainly on developing more than 100 underground and opencast mines in seven coal producing subsidiaries in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17).
CIL accounts for over 80 percent of the domestic coal production also plans to set up 22 new washeries. World's biggest coal miner, CIL is also eyeing acquisition of assets abroad.
"Something we are pursuing in South Africa. It has not reached at that stage, so too early to say," Rao said.
Coal India has planned to undertake a conditional investment of Rs 7,500 crore on augmenting rail infrastructure.
"We plan to spend Rs 7,500 crore on rail infrastructure provided the Railways complete the project on time," Rao had said earlier.
On plans of CIL quitting International Coal Ventures Private Limited (ICVL), a special purpose vehicle formed by five PSUs to acquire assets abroad, Rao said a final decision on this would be taken by the PSU board, which is about to meet shortly.
He clarified that the PSU already has its overseas acquisition wing - Coal Videsh.
Chidambaram had also said the performance of CMDs of state-run firms would be measured, among other things, on how much their company has invested in terms of the declared intention and at the beginning of the financial year, each central PSUs had committed to invest certain amount..
At present, about 25 central PSUs, including blue-chip companies like ONGC, GAIL, NTPC, SAIL and BHEL have surplus funds worth Rs 2.5 lakh crore.