New Delhi, Oct 13 (PTI) Ahead of Diwali, the Centre today announced higher one-time advance of Rs 51,000 instead of Rs 40,000 to each of the three lakh non-executive employees of Coal India Ltd (CIL) and its subsidiaries by October 17.

The one-time advance would be paid to employees currently on the rolls of the company. It will be paid before Diwali, Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said in a statement.

Trade unions have hailed the decision, he said, adding that this has brought new-found optimism among coal workers furthering their Diwali cheer.

It may be recalled the year-long wage negotiations were concluded between CIL management and trade union representatives much to the satisfaction of the employees and management who received a 20 per cent increase on wages.

“The main thrust of the wage negotiation was to make available ‘reliable and affordable power to all’ and social security for workers,” Goyal said.

Lauding state-run CIL workers for their efforts in achieving higher coal output, the minister exhorted the employees to continue on the path of growth in coal production and break all the previous records.

There was 10.1 per cent growth in coal output in September, while 13 per cent so far in the current month.

Also, coal dispath to power sector in September was higher at 21 per cent and around 22 per cent till yesterday, he said while extending prosperous Diwali greetings to all the employees.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.