New Delhi: The Coal Ministry today said it will introduce the Coal Regulatory Authority Bill in the forthcoming Budget session of the Parliament.
"The work on coal regulator is moving forward...We are hopeful that in this Budget session we will introduce Coal Regulatory Bill," Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told reporters here.
The Budget session begins from February 21.
The proposed Coal Regulatory Authority Bill aims to regulate and conserve coal sector resources besides protecting the interests of consumers and producers.
The Coal Regulatory Authority Bill would facilitate standardised operational norms and establish benchmarks in safety standards, performance and productivity through adoption of best mining practices.
Jaiswal, who has recently been promoted to the Cabinet rank, said guidelines and rules for the proposed competitive bidding for auction of coal blocks would also be finalised within a month and the bidding process is likely to begin from April.
"I am hopeful that within a month these rules will be finalised... and from April bidding process will start," the Minister added.
Earlier, the Coal Ministry had said that it was framing guidelines and rules for the proposed competitive bidding for auction of coal blocks.
The Parliament in August last year had passed the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2010, which paved the way for introduction of auction through competitive bidding for allocation of coal blocks to private companies for captive use.
To encourage greater transparency, the bill seeks to replace coal block allocation done by a government screening panel with allocation of coal blocks through auction.
At present, an inter-ministerial screening committee, which includes representatives from concerned state governments, allocates coal blocks to private firms engaged in generation of power, production of iron and steel, and some coal washeries.