Coal India incurs Rs 200 crore cash loss daily

Kolkata: Coal India is incurring daily net cash losses of ₹190-200 crore as sales are down and customers are delaying payment. Before the lockdown, it managed daily cash profits of ₹50-60 crore. Executives said the company will struggle to pay for regular expenditure, half of which goes to pay salaries.

In April, sales and production dropped 26% and 11%, respectively, compared to April 2019. Dues from state power companies rose to a record ₹16,500 crore towards the end of April from about ₹14,000 crore at the end of March.

Before the lockdown, Coal India’s daily cash earnings hovered between ₹260 crore and ₹270 crore, including government levies like taxes, cess and royalty. It is now hovering between ₹30 crore and ₹40 crore a day.


“Following grievances lodged by consumers, the government has also asked subsidiaries to expeditiously release all security deposit refunds under expired fuel supply agreements to ease consumers’ hardship during the current lockdown. Initially, we were planning to stagger this payment to manage our cashflow,” a senior Coal India executive said.

Before the lockdown, daily cash expenses were ₹210-220 crore including salaries, operational input costs and payment of levies to the government.

Coal producing subsidiaries need to pay royalty and cess on the quantity of coal produced in a month. Although, fall in production reduced outgo including levies marginally, the reduction has been undone by additional outgo on account of security deposit refunds within a fixed timeframe. Expenses are currently hovering at ₹220-230 crore daily.

Coal India has been reporting net profits over the last several years. During the quarter ended December 2019, it reported a total comprehensive income of ₹3,670 crore.

ET had on April 27 reported that subsidiary Bharat Coking Coal didn’t have funds to pay April salaries to its 42,000 employees since it received almost no payment from customers during the month. Its dues crossed ₹3,200 crore, one of the highest among subsidiaries.

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