'No hike in coal prices now'

The government on Friday turned down state-run Coal India Ltd's revived demand for an increase in coal prices saying there is no plan for a hike at the moment, though it left some leeway for itself in the future.

"No plan (to hike coal prices) yet... but can't say about the future," Coal Minister Sri Prakash Jaiswal told reporters here.

Navratna PSU Coal India on Friday sought a hike in coal prices on the back of a decline in its retained earnings.

Coal India CMD P S Bhattacharya told reporters today here, "Coal India has reported a sharp drop in retained earnings because of wage built annual impact. A profit of Rs 300 crore on a turnover of Rs 45,000 crore is low. We see the scope for moderate increase in coal prices."

He further said there is no shortage of coal for the thermal power plants.

Retained earnings are that percentage of net earnings of a company that is not paid out as dividends but is retained by the company to be reinvested for the growth of the business, like investing in machinery etc.

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