National trade unions today opposed the government’s decision in allowing private firms to mine coal for commercial use.
Several unions including the BJP affiliated Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), left backed Citu and Congress supported INTUC have opposed the move.
“We oppose the move as the decision was taken arbitrarily without discussing with us. We are internally discussing the matter and will soon come out with a decision,” BMS affiliated Akhil Bhartiya Khadan Sangh president Brajendra Kumar Ray told .
Citu affiliated All India Coal Workers Federation General Secretary D D Ramanandan said, “This is a precursor to hand over coal mines to the foreigners. We are in touch with other trade unions to chart out next course of action.”
S Q Zama, Secretary General of INMF, also opposed the step taken by the government.
The trade union leaders apprehend that the move will gradually kill Coal India as private players will not do mining ethically. They also fear that workers will not be paid properly and there will be scant regard for environment.
Ramanandan said Citu was not a signatory to lift the five-day strike of January 2015 but other unions were convinced after the government assured no harm for Coal India against government’s decision to amend the Act to pave the way to private commercial mining.
The unions feel that allowing private companies to mine the fossil fuel for commercial use will end the monopoly of Coal India Ltd.
Currently, the private sector is allowed coal mining for captive use only.
The government said the move is likely to bring efficiency into the coal sector by moving away from the era of monopoly to competition and lower power tariffs. BSM JM Read More