Nagpur: A cash crunch in public sector mining company Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) has led to delay in payment of salaries to some employees. WCL is a subsidiary of Maharatna PSU, Coal India Limited (CIL), which is said to be the biggest employer of the region with a workforce of 50,000.
A PSU failing to keep the date with salaries is not usual, say insiders. Old-timers in WCL says that never before in their career has a situation arisen that the company was short of funds to pay even salaries in time. Salaries are paid on the first, seventh and tenth of each month. The employees posted at headquarters Nagpur and nearby get their pay on the first of every month. Those in the mines get it on the 7th or 10th, depending upon the arrangement. WCL’s mines are spread across Vidarbha and neighbouring Madhya Pradesh.
The employees who were supposed to get their salaries on May 1, got the amount in their accounts only on May 5. Sources say over 3,000 employees got delayed salaries.
Officials in the company’s senior management say delayed payment from Mahagenco, the state government power generation company, led to the cash crunch at WCL. Mahagenco, the biggest buyer of coal from WCL, owes nearly Rs 500 crore. “Out of this, Rs 275 crore were received from Mahagenco a couple of days ago, after which salaries were paid. Rest of the amount is expected in due course,” said an official in the top management.
“The company needs around Rs200 crore for salaries, and another Rs150 crore for other payments. There was a shortage of funds because payment from Mahagenco was delayed. As soon as Mahagenco released Rs275 crore, the salaries were paid,” said an official dealing with the issue.
Salaries for rest of the employees, whose salaries are due on May 7 and 10, will be paid on time, said the official.
Such delays in payments from coal buyers are usual. Mahagenco may not have been able to make the payments in time since it may have not received dues from Mahadiscom, the electricity distribution arm. It is part of the business cycle, explained sources. However, employees said the delay in salaries has never been heard of before.
“WCL was in losses in the previous year due to poor demand of coal, which was reflected in the current year’s liquidity situation. The going has been good this year,” said an officer reporting to the company’s board.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson at Mahagenco said there is no overdue amount towards WCL. Rather, a claim has been made at the Additional Dispute Resolution Mechanism (ADRM) in the ministry of coal.
On this, WCL sources said what they are demanding from Mahagenco is the undisputed amount. The amount with ADRM is not being considered. ADRM is a three-year-old mechanism, and any dispute over payments arising due to grade of coal or other issues is heard at this forum. This is a continuous process.
This story has not been edited by coalpost and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed of ET https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/coal/wcl-salaries-delayed-maybe-for-the-first-time-in-history/64057520?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=ETRSS