Unhappy over Coal India arm Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL) in Jharkhand hiring machinery worth ₹ 859 crore in a year, a parliamentary panel has sought reasons behind such a move when its own equipment were not utilised fully.
The 22-member panel headed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi while tabling its latest report on public undertakings has also suggested that CCL may offer its machinery on hire if not used for fetching revenue.
CCL spent ₹ 859 crore on hiring of plant and equipment during 2018-19 while no independent study was undertaken to assess the comparative cost effectiveness in hiring of (heavy earth moving machinery) HEMMs or owning these equipment, the panel said.
“Keeping in view that such huge expenditure of ₹ 859 crore was incurred in one year on hiring plant and equipment, especially when the CCL-owned equipment are not being utilised to the full extent in some cases as is evident that the utilisation of all HEMMs had been much less than 50 % of the norms prescribed during the year 2018-19, the committee recommend that detailed note be furnished to the committee explaining inter alia the reasons for hiring equipment when CCL-owned equipment were lying unutilised to a large extent,” the report said.
It also sought a note from the coal producing company on the comparative effectiveness of hiring in comparison to owning of HEMMs.
The committee said that it observed that despite the availability of these equipment almost as per the norms, their actual utilisation was far short of prescribed norms in the year 2018-19.
“For instance, against the utilisation norms of 58 %, 50 %, 45 % 40 % for shovels, dumpers, dozers and drills, respectively, the actual utilisation was only 40.9 %, 35.4 %, 20.8 % and 28.2 % in 2018-19. The actual utilisation of dozers was less than 50 % of the norms and in case of other equipment, it was between 60-70 % only of the utilisation norms,” the report said.
The panel observed that though availability of HEMMs is more or less as per the norms, their utilisation desires a lot to be improved.
“The committee would like to be apprised of the specific reasons for such low utilisation of HEMMs with the year-wise availability and utilisation of HEMMs during the last 5 years period and also the impact of such low utilisation of HEMMs on the production of the company,” the report said.
It recommend that necessary measures need to taken by CCL to step up the utilization rates of various equipment of HEMMs.
“The committee also recommend that the machinery owned by the CCL, if not needed by them during a particular period of time in a year, may be rented out to other users so that not only the machinery remains in use but also the CCL earns some revenue from it,” it said.
CCL is spread over eight districts of Jharkhand covering 2,600 square kilometres. The CCL has total 42 operating mines (36 open cast and 6 underground).
It has six washeries (four coking coal and two non-coking coal). It has five regional workshops and one central workshop. Presently, it has mineable reserves of 5.94 billion tonnes.