April 5, 2017

Speaking at “Coal Quality Seminar”, New Delhi

………..Sushilji, honourable Secretary Ministry of Coal, Sutirtha, Chairman CIL, Suresh Kumarji, Additional Secretary Mr Verma, colleague from the Central Electricity Authority, all the colleagues from the Ministry of Coal, Power, different companies, the Coal India Limited, its subsidiaries, NTPC, TVC, quality agency CIMFR, colleagues from CEA. And I am told a number of consumers and our customers are here, ladies and gentlemen.

At the outset, before I get into anything else, I would recommend a little change in your programme if you don’t mind. These technical sessions, these 15-15 minute presentations mean nothing, to my mind. I am sorry to get into this detail. I would recommend you spend the first 45 minutes on the first presentation by CIL and have the interaction on that along the way, so that things are live, things are known to everybody. And by the evening, by the time you come down to interaction post lunch in any case half the crowd would have disappeared and half this subject would have been lost. So do a 45-minute presentation on the first run, another 45 minute on TPA. I don’t think you need one hour to have lunch. I have my lunch in 5-6 minutes and most of my colleagues have seen that, and you can keep half an hour if you want to have coffee after that.

And at 2 o’clock when you assemble you have one-one hour sessions on the power producers and the IPPs. Those are really our customers; they are the very purpose for which we are here. So please give them more chance. And I would urge all of you to please speak your mind, just like this Secretary said he likes to speak his mind. I think it’s important that everybody speaks his mind. All of these sessions will be in closed door. The media will leave after the inaugural session and they can join us in the valedictory at about 4.30. I will come at 4.30, between 4.30 and 4.45, after I finish one important meeting. And I would like to see everybody in the room. It will also demonstrate to me the seriousness of my customers. I know my officials will poor fellows sit because I am coming. But I would like to also see the seriousness of the customers, and I hope you have kept a record of all those who are present here.

Also, if possible, I would urge all of you to sit through the day, not go in and out. Unfortunately, I have to go out. I had requested him that you do it after parliament then I wanted to sit the whole day also. But he was of the opinion and rightly so that the more we delay we are losing time, and having achieved this significant milestone of adequate quantity in his quest for quantity and quality. I am sure it’s of urgent need that we focus on quality. Of course, I must compliment all of you, both the customers and the suppliers for what has happened in the last two-two and a half-three years. I believe the Station Heat Rates have improved significantly. I am told there is an 8% reduction in consumption of coal per unit of electricity generated.

In 2013-14, the specific coal consumption was about .69 kilos per kilowatt hour the nation as a whole as per data, which I believe must have come from CEA, has now come down to .63 KGs per kilowatt hour. This is a significant milestone in India’s journey towards affordable power for all 24/7. And I am sure, this can be better also. We do have our challenges of the grade of coal that is available in India, the high amount of fly ash. These problems will be there but the problems are there only as long as we don’t find a solution to the problem, then everybody will forget the problem. Today, nobody remembers that 61 plants, nearly 2/3rd of the power plants were starved of coal in 2014 when the Modi government came in. I believe today there is none, maybe one plant in Vizag where there is a logistics problem, it’s a private plant, they are unable to sort out their logistics problem or something. In April, even they were, a few days back even they had enough coal. If there is anywhere we can help them with the logistics let’s help them but let’s make sure, so it’s a great feeling to see that 61 out of 100 becomes 0 out 100. It’s a great thing to see on the Vidyut Pravah that round the clock, 24/7, at a very reasonable price, any DISCOM can buy power today.

The fact that customers have confidence that they can get coal when they want it has helped them bring down their coal stocks from 27-28 days to 19 days. All of these are things for which I must say the people of India and all of us are extremely proud of Coal India, extremely proud of all the subsidiaries of Coal India. Also of our other company SCCL, all they also present here? Singareni is not present? I wish you had called them also. Next time you must think beyond silos. Any such engagement should be across the sector, including if necessary private miners who could have helped us also with their own experiences. And I would like to institutionalize this mechanism of a quality workshop, so it moves out of Coal India to a Coal Industry Workshop. And I am glad that power is also represented here, the power producers are here and let’s be more inclusive.

In some sense, I don’t know how many of you heard it, but the honorable Prime Minister when speaking at the India Today Conclave, I believe only 8 days, 9 days ago, in Mumbai, had spoken about this subject. And, of course, it is a matter of pride for us that the coal shortages, power shortages are a thing of the past, but the good thing is that public memory is so short that they forget what was the past very quickly once the new normal is established. Now we have a new normal even in the power sector. We have a new normal gradually evolving in the coal sector. And people have forgotten those bad old days which is good. We don’t need to again and again remind ourselves or the people of the days when coal was always perpetually in short supply. The Director Marketing of Coal used to sit like a king and allocate coal blocks, coal linkages or the Coal Secretary would allocate coal blocks, along with his political masters, of course.

And I remember, I don’t know if any of you was there in my August 2014 meetings, some of you may have been there. In August 2014, Gopal was certainly there, I think आप नहीं थे, राजीव जी नहीं थे, ज्यादा लोग नए आये हैं अभी in CIL also, but you are a veteran in the industry. Is it good or bad? But, in August of 2014, नया नया मंत्री बना था, when we were having a review of Coal India at the Ashoka Hotel. And थोडा, all my meetings go on long, I think most of my colleagues now are very much aware of it. तो रात को 11-11.30 बज गए थे, खाना-वाना नहीं खाया था, शायद उस समय तो लोगों को लगा होगा कुछ और भी मिलेगा खाने के साथ | अब आदत पड़ गयी है कि इस सरकार में वह सब चीज़ें नहीं होती हैं | But I remember at about 11-11.30, out of frustration, literally wringing my hair I had said this company will have to produce a billion tonnes of coal, without that there is no solution for India’s problems.

And I am delighted that you all have taken rapid strides to achieve this significant milestone where no power plant in the country, no consumer needs to be deprived of domestic coal. I believe you have seen coal imports come down by nearly 25,000 crores, and this could become even better if earlier governments had not planned power plants based on imported coal. If we had not had the unfortunate situation where these thousands of megawatts of power plants which cannot use this high fly ash coal or the quality of domestic coal, possibly, we could eliminate import of coal in this sector. Even the coastal plants we are working to see if we can barge the coal to Paradip or somewhere and then ship it to the coastal plants on the West and the Southern coal power plants. In fact, I am delighted that Tamil Nadu, which had been insisting despite my persistent efforts on a ultra-mega power plant at Cheyyur based on imported coal. And I used to again and again request that why do you want to set up now a power plant on coal. And I used to keep delaying the process of preparing the documents on imported coal. And I am delighted to share with all of you that about 2 weeks back, the honorable Minister from Tamil Nadu, the Power Minister has come and given me a letter that we will be wanting to set up Cheyyur power plant also on domestic coal, not on imported coal.

That’s the measure of confidence that Mr Modi and his leadership has developed in the country. That is the future of this country – self-reliance, a strong domestic economy, confidence in our own ability to meet the challenges of tomorrow, and comfort in the security that nobody in the world can damage our economy, can cause us any distress, or at any point of time can hold us to ransom when it comes to our energy needs.

In fact, there is a saying – the difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination. And I am delighted to see that determination in all of you to make a difference to the lives of the people of India. In fact, in that same meeting in August I had made two predictions, one actually was a prediction, one was a desire. The prediction today has come true, of course, at the ……… of Mr Prasad, Director Marketing of CIL. And the prediction was, and I distinctly remember, I don’t know if Gopal you remember, August 2014 I had said that two years from now, either I said one and a half years or two years, मुझे इतना याद नहीं आ रहा है, two years from now, the Coal India Director Marketing will not sit in his office and allocate coal but will have to go with a bowl to every consumer trying to sell coal to the people. And I think we have reached a situation where he is more facing more flak from me for not being able to liquidate stocks fast enough.

But my desire is something which is still not fulfilled and which is the purpose of this workshop. In that same meeting, while setting the benchmark of 1 billion tonne production, I had also said one more thing, I had appealed to the senior management of Coal India that our goal should be that when we step out of our home or we walk on the road and a person who sees us or meets us and asks us what do you do? And we say I work for Coal India Limited. He should not look at you with contempt. He should not look at you with, oh, that is a lethargic organisation. This is an organisation which is full of problems. This is an organisation which is fleecing us, overcharging us. This is an organisation because of which we are not generating enough power. And there used to be a calculation where the CEA used to do loss of power generated for lack of coal, यह calculation चलती थी till 2 years ago. आज वह बंद हो गयी है because there is zero, zero loss of power for want of coal. And I had said that my desire is that when you walk out in the street, the person, when you introduce yourself, should look up to you and say, ‘wow, you are the guy who provides me power in my home to make sure my children can study 24/7. Who makes sure in the night I don’t have to sleep in darkness, fearful of what used to happen in Uttar Pradesh until a few days ago. I don’t have to worry when I go to my fields because there is no light on the streets.

And I think that’s what our quality workshop today is all about. We should be able to walk out and say, this is an efficient organisation. This is an organisation which serves the country honorably and it’s a delight to work in this company, or a delight for consumers to engage with this company, to buy from this company. And mind you, world is changing. The distinction between public sector and private sector is fast diminishing. There are other sectors of the economy which as they opened up and more competition came in have failed to live up to the country’s expectations and we can see what is their situation today, I will not name any sectors.

And then there is an NTPC, which today can take pride in the fact that it’s one of the most efficiently run public sector units, can take any private sector power producer head-on, can challenge anybody to perform better than it. I hope I am right. And that’s what Coal India will have to prepare itself for. We are fast opening up this sector to more and more competition. A number of mines which were auctioned are opening up. Gradually, you will see more and more private miners coming into the field and I think gone are the days when you could based on your whim and fancy provide bad quality coal, provide coal which was over-sized, provide coal at any price what you like. Those days are gone. And I do hope the power producers in the room appreciate, other than the coal cess which, of course, is because we want to help reduce pollution in the country’s support environment-friendly measures.

Other than that, the Coal India in our 3 years has not increased prices effectively. There was a price rationalization only once, which was more to bring down the cost of the higher grades of coal, and make it competitive and have a market for them and reduce this queue. Earlier, the pricing was like a parabolic curve between the lower grades of coal and the higher grades. We are trying to bring some lineality to it so that per calorific value whatever you buy. And that way you will be encouraged to buy higher grades of coal which will reduce your freight cost, reduce the pollution. Effectively, that’s the better way to go. We should look at encouraging more and more consumption of higher grades, which is why we are trying to bring down prices. I am told हज़ार हज़ार रुपये भी कम किया था कुछ grades में, और नहीं किया तो कर दो अभी |

But, price increase is not the solution to efficiency. You can’t expect your consumer to pay for your bad quality or your bad efficiency in operations. I have been again and again repeatedly asking you to review the working of each mine, independently, maybe engage cost accountants. I am not trying to get business for cost and management accountants. But, seriously, after all, all the private people who are sitting here must be re-engineering their businesses continuously to remain competitive in the market. You have got to do the same. We should know whether every mine has a value proposition, whether it helps you to add value to the country or its depleting and sucking out value from the economy. We will have to look at productivity of our employees and our workers, and by productivity I include contract workers. Don’t try to fool yourself by ignoring the MDO contracts or the contractual workers who engage in all sorts of activity in the company. We want a total manpower input vs output assessment. There’s going to be a wage increase, the negotiations are already underway. Don’t come back to me with a huge bill of price increases, become more efficient in your working. Talk to the workers unions to improve productivity……… Improve the efficiency of top management inputs.

All of this is also quality, mind you. Quality is not only about your grade of …. I am delighted that Secretary Coal has focused a lot on the, I believe they engaged 5 government agencies, IITs and experts like that, and they have completed the sampling and analysis of coal samples in about a month and a half and declared revised grades on 24th March, which have been adopted from 1st April. And the figures are quite mindboggling, about 1961 samples were collected, from CIL 1742, from Singaroni 219, both from the mine and the dispatch points, which is excellent, which is another new, probably, done for the first time. And out of 386 producing mines in Coal India there was a grade slippage in 46% of the mines, 177 mines have been reclassified. Of course, in about 90 sidings, there’s been a significant grade slippage. Now, these are things of concern that, ultimately, earlier you were billing people. Until 3 years ago you were getting away with it. Today, now you can’t get away with it because CIMFR and other people are doing third party sampling because of which you have give credit notes.

And, therefore, as the Secretary rightly pointed out, we have to get over this hump on this quality and quality inspections and quality slippages. They should get what they pay for. Period. And don’t blame it on the railways, you will be surprised. Maybe I am getting to be like talking too much of stories. One meeting in June, my first interaction with CIL, June 30th, I still remember the day of 2014. I was at the CIL headquarters, in the older headquarters, the building where I wanted to set up a museum but you are doing nothing about it, unfortunately. Somebody has to be given that task, give it to some of these youngsters. I want a coal museum in that old headquarter building.

In that office in the meeting when I was struggling, and the issue was coal quality, that day also and today also. And I was trying to ask them कि यह क्या हो रहा है? How does boulders and stones come in your coal that you supply to the power plants? One of the CMDs of a subsidiary, he’s retired now, tells me, साहब हमारे यहाँ से तो कोयला एकदम ठीक निकलता है, वह रास्ते में ट्रेन को रोक देते हैं, उसमें से अच्छा कोयला चोरी करते हैं और यह पत्थर उसमें डाल देते हैं | मैं तो हैरान हो गया, मैंने कहा यार चोरी तो हमने आजतक सुनी थी लेकिन कभी आजतक यह नहीं सुना कि चोर लोग बड़े बड़े भारी पत्थर उठाके वह railway wagon के ऊपर डालते हैं | तुम्हें याद है गोपाल वह conversation?

But I am glad that, by and large, I think that coal over-sized problem is now thing of the past. So we will have to be an organisation which really takes these things seriously. I would urge you, and by the way, all conversation after I go away will be confidential in this room. Nobody will quote anything that is discussed so that everything can be free and frank and that is for your own good. If you start talking about it and trying to make stories and stuff like that, we will stop having these conferences. फिर जाके everything will go back into the files, जो भी paperwork है वह फाइलों के through होगा | मेरा approach है खुले दिल से बात करनी चाहिए, कोई आलोचना हो तो उसको भी स्वागत करना चाहिए, आलोचना से कुछ न कुछ सीखने को मिलता है, कुछ न कुछ सुधार करने का मौका मिलता है | और हम सबको, ultimately, उस गरीब को अपने मन, अपने दिमाग के सामने, अपने आपके, अपने नज़र के सामने हर वक्त रखना चाहिए, जिसको आज भी दो वक्त की रोटी नहीं मिलती | लेकिन जिसकी ज़रूरत है, कोई luxury नहीं है, उसकी ज़रूरत है, उसके भी बच्चों को भी पढाई करने का मौका चाहिए | यह नहीं हो सकता है कि समाज का एक वर्ग तो आगे बढ़ता ही जाये और दूसरे वर्ग को हम perpetually पीछे छोड़े रहें | हम में से कई लोग होंगे, my own father I have told you before studied under a streetlight. I am sure none of us here wishes that for any other child. फिर वह चाहे power producer हो, चाहे coal देने वाला हो, value chain में हम मैं से कोई भी हो, CEA का अलग रोल रहता है | आपको शायद CERC से भी किसी को बुला लेना चाहिए अगर tea break के बीच में किसी को फ़ोन करके बुला सको |

आप थोडा inclusive discussion करिए, हर एक को उसका लाभ मिले, हर एक के उसमें inputs हों| लेकिन जो पंडित दीन दयाल उपाध्याय ने जिनकी जन्म शताब्दी हम मना रहे हैं इस वर्ष और हम सबके प्रेरणा थे वह, सबको उन्होंने मार्ग दिखाया, उनके कहे हुए दिशा पे हम सब काम कर रहे हैं इस सरकार में | पंडित दीन दयाल उपाध्याय ने जो अन्त्योदय की कल्पना रखी थी कि समाज का जो सामर्थ है, समाज के पास जो उपलब्ध resources हैं उसका अगर किसी का पहला अधिकार है तो वह गरीब से गरीब व्यक्ति का है, जो समाज में अंतिम छोर पे खड़ा है | और यह हम सबका दायित्व है चाहे हम power plant चलाते हों, coal, कोई भी काम करते हों हम सबको अपने अपने काम में उस व्यक्ति को कैसे सस्ती बिजली मिले, चौबीसों घंटे मिले, उसके बच्चे का जीवन स्तर कैसे सुधरे उसको अगर हम आँख के सामने रखेंगे | और यह मैं private sector के भी power producers को भी कह रहा हूँ, अपने लोगों को तो कहता रहता हों, कि आप भी अपनी efficiency को internalize करिए, सोचिये, आप भी देखिये आपके end पे क्या किया जा सकता है, आप भी देखिये कैसे आप और efficiently चलायें बिना बैंक को बोले कि आप बैंक में ….. लो या बिना हमारे पास रोते हुए हर चीज़ पे आयें कि भाई हमको यह सुविधा चाहिए, यह concession चाहिए, यह रहत चाहिए |

हम सबको सामूहिक रूप से अपनी अपनी efficiency सुधारनी पड़ेगी, Coal India में तो बहुत काम करने की आवश्यकता है | मुझे पूरा विश्वास है यह जो 10% का इन्होने cap रखा है कि quality control complaints उससे ज्यादा नहीं होनी चाहिए, यह cap है, यह collar नहीं है, यह bottom नहीं है, कोशिश तो हमारी होनी चाहिए 0 की तरफ चलें | एक-आद केस कभी गलती हो जाये वह मैं समझ सकता हूँ | और हमारी कोशिश होनी चाहिए जैसे आज के दिन कोयले का स्टॉक रखने की किसी को आवश्यकता नहीं पड़ती है और लोगों ने 10 दिन stock ही कम कर दिया, 10-12 million tonne कम कर दिया | अहिस्ते अहिस्ते और कंपनियां भी यह काम करेंगी, वैसे ही quality के मामले में भी इतनी विश्वसनीयता बन जानी चाहिए | The trust factor should come in, that people don’t have to even bother about checking. They don’t even have to bother about having a third party inspector but have the confidence and the trust in Coal India and any other coal supplier that when you give something, it will be good, it will be the stated quality, the stated quantity, and can be literally used like a Just-in-time coal directly into the power plant.

In fact, I don’t know how coal consumption is used in the power companies, whether you continuously remove your old stock and let the new stock come in or you lose a JIT. Because I am told that coal if kept for a long time after loses depletes value and the coal becomes brittle powder at the bottom and all, which may also be causing some stress and some slippages at your power production.

तो हम सबको अपने अपने processes देखने पड़ेंगे | जब आप Coal Quality Workshop कर रहे हैं तो आपको यह भी बताना पड़ेगा आपकी companies में private sector को, you can’t say कि नया कोयला ऊपर आया और ऊपर से consume हो गया, पुराना नीचे के नीचे पड़ा रह गया | There has to be a proper system in your stocking also that coal keeps getting consumed quickly if you are keeping 20 days stock तो जो 20 दिन पहले कोयला आया वह पहले ही use होना चाहिए, ऐसा नहीं हो सकता 4 साल तक कुछ कोयला नीचे ही पड़ा रह गया | और मेरे खयाल से यही coal companies को भी apply करना है, जहाँ से भी हम supply करते हैं, one reason of slippage, not that I had thought of it, मेरे को अभी अभी ध्यान आया बात करते करते कि ऐसा तो नहीं हो रहा है कि हम ऊपर का coal supply करते जा रहे हैं, नीचे का पड़ा रहता है और जब भी वह जाता है तो significant coal slippage हो जाता है |

We will also have to make sure पुराना coal और उसमें अगर आपके यहाँ कुछ गड़बड़ी-वडबड़ी हो stock की तो वह भी सामने आ जाएगी | And सच्चाई से हमें मुंह नहीं फेरना चाहिए, सच्चाई को accept करके सच्चाई के ऊपर क्या हम कदम उठा सकते हैं, कैसे सुधार सकते हैं उसी पे focus रहना चाहिए | एक आखरी बात मैं quality control वालों को भी कहना चाहूँगा, मैंने उस दिन भी आपको कहा था जब आपके कार्यक्रम में आया था | हम अभी expand भी कर रहे हैं, नयी कंपनियों को भी ले रहे हैं quality control के लिए, CIMFR के अलावा यहाँ और कोई है quality का? ISM quality council. देखिये मैंने भी फैक्ट्री चलायी है और हमारी export consignments पे भी quality control होता था, और बड़ी बड़ी विदेशी कंपनियां, foreign companies used to come and do quality control of our export consignments. And, therefore, I know what happens when quality consignments are checked. I don’t need to be more specific, do I?

समझ रहे हो कि मैं और स्पष्ट रूप से बोलूं | संज्ञान में आ गया, आपको भी QCI? और मुझे थोड़ी complaints भी मिली हैं, complaints दोनों की मिली है, coal कंपनियों की भी, कोल् inspection की भी, तो मैं थोडा चेतावनी देना चाहूँगा आज | अगर sample निकालने में, sampling में कोई coal company के लोग कुछ गलत काम करते हैं तो आप मेहरबानी करके कुछ एक whistleblower mechanism बनाइये | किस ने भ्रष्टाचार किया, किस ने कुछ माँगा भी, चाहे दिया न हो माँगा भी, तो हमें जानकारी हो, जानकारी पर नज़र रखी जाये | You may not be able to take action only one man’s word against the other, तो उससे उलटी problem ना हो जाए कहीं whistleblowers ही उलटे हमारे को blackmail न करने लगे | But उसपे नज़र रखके कैसे पता करना और आजकल तो बड़ा सरल है ज़रा सी complaint कर दो, किधर न किधर तो लपेटे में आदमी को लिया जा सकता है |

और similarly आपके inspectors वगैरा को भी चेतावनी दे दीजिये और जो भी लोग इस हमारे साथ बिना भ्रष्टाचार के नहीं काम कर सकते हैं उनको बोलो resign करके चले जाओ या हमारा पास, atleast मेरे कोई sector में मत आओ आप और…….. आज वास्तव में तो लगभग सरकारी कंपनियां ही आयेंगे तो आपको तो उनको resign ही करवाना पड़ेगा | But, positively, please set up good systems within your organisations, all the coal companies set up good systems within your organisations to make sure कि हमको कभी कोई सख्त कार्रवाई ना करनी पड़े | और अब तो मुझे लगता है थोडा बहुत messaging भी हो गया है कि यह सरकार सख्त कार्रवाई कर सकती है, Coal India has already seen that.

और कार्रवाई करने के पहले कोई जल्दबाजी में भी नहीं करते हैं, पूरी सोच-समझ के जानकारियाँ लेके फिर करी जाती है | लेकिन मैं चाहूँगा कि हमारे sectors संवेदना से काम करें | It’s, with concern, because what we are doing impacts a 120 crore people of India. It impacts the poorest of the poor in every which way. And I am saying that because वह आज एक ढाबे में जाके कोई खाना भी खाता है तो घूम-फिर के वह कोयले का खर्चा उसपे आता है, he may not be using coal, पर जो भी बिजली जो भी इस्तेमाल कर रहा है, चाहे वह आटे की चक्की क्यों न हो, चाहे वह ढाबे की लाइटिंग क्यों न हो, हर जगह पे बिजली तो अनिवार्य है इस्तेमाल के लिए | Steel, cement, aluminium यह सब जो वस्तुएं हैं यह तो अनिवार्य है कि use होंगे, अलग अलग रूप में किसी भी व्यक्ति के कोई भी काम में और इन सबका linkage घूम-फिर के कोयले से आता है |

तो आप सबको बस इतना ही request करूँगा कि अपने काम को सिर्फ एक मात्र job नहीं, सिर्फ target नहीं, सिर्फ performance-linked incentive नहीं लेकिन एक mission, a mission to help India and all Indians. इस प्रकार के mission के रूप में अगर हम देखें तो मैं समझता हूँ काम भी सरल हो जायेगा, सुधार भी सरल हो जायेगा और वह काम फिर जब जनता देखेगी तब वह दिन आएगा जब हमारे CIL का हर एक employee सड़क पे बाहर जायेगा और गर्व से कहेगा कि मैं Coal India का employee हूँ और सामने वाला देखके उसकी भी आँखें चौंक जाएँगी कि वाह क्या काम है |

Thank you.



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