Mounting dues from power utilities keep mining major under financial pressure

Hyderabad: For the first time, cash-starved public-sector mining major Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) will miss bonus payment i.e. performance-linked reward (PLR) to its employees. The pending dues from power utilities are said to be the primary reason for this cash crunch. Singareni in October already paid Rs 500-crore bonus in the form of profit share and Rs 250 crore as salaries. Now, it requires another Rs 280crore to pay PLR, and this seems to be a challenging task for Singareni management.

 A senior official said, “Singareni employees have been getting PLR before Deepavali for the past three decades. With four days left for Deepavali, the chances of paying a bonus to the 48,000 employees are bleak as the mining company requires Rs 280 crore.”

 RTC employees have been on strike call for the past 19 days. The TSRTC management did not pay their salaries for September. RTC employees had to face financial difficulties during Dasara. Now, the SSCL employees may witness a similar situation before Deepavali. 

Interestingly, the headcount of both organisations is over 48,000. 

 A political analyst said, “The striking TSRTC employees missed their salary for September. Over 48,000 families couldn’t celebrate Dasara. Now, it’s the turn of Singareni employees to suffer a dark day on Deepavali. What’s happening in Telangana. TRS supremo Mr K. Chandrashekhar Rao promised to build Bangaru Telangana. But such a crisis at Singareni and RTC never happened in the united AP. The current situation in Telangana is really chaotic.” 

 Singareni employees are concerned over the payment of bonus and approached the TRS-affiliated Telangana Boggu Gani Karmika Sangham (TBGKS), a recognised union of workers. 

 An employee said that the TGBKS leaders confirmed that bonus payment before Deepavali might not be possible. 

Singareni has never stopped the payment of bonus. During the period of the financial crisis also, it paid a bonus in two instalments. 

 Singareni declared Rs1,766 crore profits and paid Rs 494 crore bonus in 2018. How could suddenly Singareni fall into such a situation? Singareni paid Rs 60,500 bonus in 2018, and it’s been enhanced to Rs 64,700 crore.

An official at Singareni said that “Power utilities not paying in time has resulted in dues amounting to Rs 7,000 crore including Rs 2,000 crore dues from Transco. Eventually, this has led Singareni into a cash crisis.”

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