The Economic Times, Kolkata
NEW DELHI: State-owned Coal India Ltd is likely to be conferred with 'Maharatna' status by the end of the month, which will give the company more financial autonomy.
CIL, the world's largest coal-miner, with a turnover of Rs 52,000 crore in 2009-10, will be the fifth PSU to qualify for the categorisation, which entitles a state-owned firm to more financial freedom.
At present, there are four PSUs with Maharatna status -- ONGC, NTPC, IOC and SAIL.
"The Coal Ministry has forwarded the proposal to the Department of Public Enterprises," Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) Secretary Bhaskar Chatterjee told PTI.
CIL fulfills all the necessary parameters to qualify for the status. The DPE hopes to finish it (awarding the status and issuing the formal order) before the end of this month, he added.
A company needs to have a three-year track record of annual net profit of over Rs 5,000 crore, a net worth of more than Rs 15,000 crore and a turnover of more than Rs 25,000 crore -- besides being listed on stock exchanges -- to be eligible for Maharatna status.
In another development, Coal India will float bids this month to hire an agency for exploratory drillng of its two coal blocks in Mozambique to assess the reserves estimated to be at about one billion tonne.