statesman news service
NEW DELHI, 28 JUNE: The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of a regulatory authority for the coal sector and has decided to introduce the Coal Regulatory Authority Bill 2013 in Parliament.
Announcing the Cabinet decision taken last night, the Union finance minister, Mr P Chidambaram, today said the authority would be empowered to specify the methodology for determining coal prices. It would address all contentious issues in supply and quality of coal products.
“The Cabinet approved the Coal Regulatory Authority Bill, an independent regulatory body for the coal sector, which helps in regulation and conservation of coal resources and will benefit all stakeholders, including coal companies, coal-consuming industries, coal-bearing states as well as people directly or indirectly associated with coal industries ,” the finance minister said. “The Bill will be introduced in Parliament. It will be passed as early as possible…Pending passage of the Bill, we propose to set it up by an executive order,” he said.
The draft Bill on Coal Regulatory Authority Bill 2013 was submitted to the Cabinet for consideration on 10 May 2012. The panel decided to refer it to a Group of Ministers to sort out issues related to the powers of the proposed regulator.
The authority would specify methods of testing for declaration of grades or quality of coal, monitor and enforce closure of mines, specify principles and methodologies for price determination of raw coal and washed coal and any other by-product generated during the process of coal washing, adjudicate upon disputes between parties and discharge other functions as the Central government may entrust to it, said a press release issued here today.
A special fund would be created and all grants, fee and charges received by the authority shall be credited to this fund. After passing of the Bill, details would be worked out and submitted to the government for appropriate financial sanction for the initial start-up funding, the release added.