Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Jul 04, 2002
Singareni Collieries hopes to wipe out losses this fiscal
HYDERABAD, July 3
SINGARENI Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) hopes to wipe out its accumulated losses and declare dividend during the current fiscal, the first time after 1965.
The company, which was referred to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction in the early 1990s, has accumulated losses to the tune of Rs 1,219 crore till 1997-98.
Since then, it has started posting operational profits bringing down the cumulative losses to Rs 275 crore in 2001-02.
According to the Andhra Pradesh Minister for Energy, Mr K. Subbarayudu, the company is hopeful of earning a net profit of Rs 450 crore this year, and thus, totally wipe out its accumulated losses.
The State Government has a 51 per cent stake and the Central Government holds 49 per cent in the equity of SCCL.
The Minister told presspersons here on Wednesday that the company had achieved its highest level of production of 30.81 million tonnes of coal last year.
There was a sharp decrease in strikes in the company and a remarkable improvement in industrial relations. The company's expenditure on providing welfare amenities to its employees had also gone up from Rs 165 crore in 1996-97 to Rs 242 crore in 2001-02. The welfare expenditure per employee during this period increased from Rs 14,440 to Rs 24,336.
The State Chief Minister, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu , had agreed to pay 10 per cent of the Rs 290-crore net profit posted by the company as a special incentive to the workers. The payment would be made this month along with monthly salaries.
The Chairman and Managing Director of SCCL, Mr R.H. Qwaza, said that last fiscal, the company had suffered only 55 strikes by employees as against an average of 200 to 300 in terms of area and region as well as general strikes per year during 1980s and 1990s.
The last general strike observed by the workers was for a period of 13 days in June 2001.
Meanwhile, the office-bearers of the SCCL Workers Union have announced that they would take part in the nation-wide strike to be observed by the coal industry workers from August 5 to 11.
The strike call was to protest against privatisation, liberal import of coal and reduction in the interest rate on provident fund.
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