GoM meeting on Coal Regulator Bill postponed

GoM meeting on Coal Regulator Bill postponed New Delhi: A meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM), under the Chairmanship of Finance Minster P Chidambaram, which was to be held on Tuesday to deliberate on the draft Coal Regulator Bill has been postponed.

"The GoM meeting on Coal Regulator bill has been postponed due to Ministers' preoccupations in Parliament," a government official said.

No fresh date has been fixed as of now, he added.

The Cabinet had referred the draft Bill for setting up a regulatory authority for the coal sector to a ministerial panel.

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had said in November that GoM assigned to set up coal sector regulator may come up with its final recommendations soon after its meeting in December.

"I think in one or two meetings it (setting up of the coal regulator) would be decided," the minister had said.

In May, the Union Cabinet had discussed the proposal for a coal regulator and asked the GoM to make recommendations on its powers and functions.

The setting-up of an independent regulator for the coal sector is considered important for competitiveness of e- auctions, fixing guidelines for price revision in supply pacts, fixing trading margins and increasing transparency in the allocation of reserves.

A coal regulator was recommended in the country's Integrated Energy Policy as well as by the T L Shankar Committee on coal sector reforms.

A few states and stakeholders were also demanding setting -up of the coal regulator to induce greater transparency in coal block allocation and price fixing.

PTI