New Delhi: The government has received applications from 17 firms, including McKinsey, KPMG, Ernst & Young, Deloitte and Crisil, in response to the bids for the appointment of advisors to restructure Coal India Ltd (CIL).
"The Coal Ministry has received 17 applications from companies like McKinsey, KPMG, Ernst & Young, Deloitte and Crisil," a government official said.
The Coal Ministry had last month invited bids for the appointment of advisors for restructuring of the country's largest coal producer.
The official said the bids would be opened soon and the ministry is likely to shortlist the companies this month.
The Coal Ministry had in December informed the Prime Minister's Office of the appointment of consultants with international expertise and frame timeline to take forward the proposal on restructuring of the state-owned miner.
The Planning Commission and many high-level panels, including Expert Committee on Road Map for coal sector reforms - also known as T L Shankar Committee - recommended restructuring of CIL keeping in view of rapidly increasing demand of coal and the need for enhancing production as well as to make the coal sector competitive.
It has been proposed to take up a study "to assess the need for restructuring of CIL in light of the avoidance of drawbacks inherent in a monopolistic situation," and "to prepare a road map for smooth transition towards proposed restructuring," among others, the ministry had said.
The Planning Commission had earlier 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 seven subsidiaries such as Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL), Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL), Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) and Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Ltd. The coal producer has 3.71 lakh employees.
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.