The death of any employee of Coal India due to COVID-19, while on duty, will be treated as an accidental death, according to Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi. The family or kin of the deceased will be entitled to all financial benefits that are offered to the kin of employees who die during accidents, while on duty.
This announcement by the state-owned coal company, which is intended to protect the families of those staff who have lost their lives to COVID, will benefit its approx. four lakh-strong workforce, including regular workers on the rolls and those working on contract.
The Minister conveyed that the move was decided on with the well-being of CIL workers in mind, and to acknowledge and recognise their sincerity and commitment to work amidst the ongoing pandemic. The Minister rightly called the CIL workers “coal warriors” for their dedication.
Of the total coal output in the country, Coal India accounts for a significant share of over 80 per cent. It aims to produce one billion tonne of coal in the next three years.
The state of Jharkhand alone is expected to earn revenues of approx. Rs 18,889 crore from the 742 million tonnes of coal that CIL aims to mine in the state by 2024.