Coal India IPO likely between Oct 18-21

Kolkata, July 31 (IANS) The country’s largest coal producer, Coal India Limited (CIL), expects to make its maiden public offering of shares between Oct 18-21, a top official said here Saturday.

‘Our IPO (Initial Public Offering) is on track, and is not being delayed further as reported in a section of the press,’ CIL Chairman Partha S. Bhattacharyya told reporters on the sidelines of a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) National Conference on Leadership and Organisational Change.

The draft red herring prospectus for the IPO would be approved by the CIL board Aug 5, he said.

The government is divesting 10 percent stake in the CIL consisting of 630 million shares.

The CIL had earlier scheduled its IPO in August but later postponed it till September fearing poor valuation. Another reason for the delay was lack of policy clarity among various ministries over right to mine in forest areas.

The difference between the coal ministry and the environment and forests ministry over ‘go’ and ‘no-go’ areas for the CIL, could be resolved in August.

According to sources, a meeting between the two ministries would take place Aug 20.

Bhattacharyya said: ‘You can expect a positive statement in a month or two.’

He said the CIL has been trying to make the environment and forests ministry understand that the government should fast-track clearances within 300 days against the normal 5-6 years in areas that are covered with only shrubs and not by dense forests.

This would free close to 50 percent of the coal bearing forest areas where the CIL can start mining within a year.

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