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Economy Jan 21, 2013

Govt to set up coal regulatory authority soon

New Delhi: The government today said it will soon appoint a coal regulator to monitor the fuel pricing, sampling and other practices in the sector.

An inter-ministerial panel headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram today met and deliberated on the matter of setting up the coal regulatory authority. Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, who is part of the Group of Ministers (GoM), said the discussions are underway and the government may soon appoint a coal regulator.

The setting up of an independent regulator for the coal sector is important for improving the competitiveness. Reuters

"We discussed the matter and we are hopeful that it is likely to be finalised in the GoM meet," Jaiswal said after the GoM meeting. Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who also attended the meeting, said: "Power Ministry and Planning Commission will be working on the draft of the coal regulator and will be meeting shortly to close on that. Next (GoM) meeting will be the final meeting."

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

According to sources, some of the issues such as the pricing of coal and bringing on the selection board a representative from the Power Ministry, were raised during the meeting which lasted for over an hour. Earlier, the Cabinet had discussed the proposal for a coal sector regulator and asked the GoM on coal regulator to make recommendations on its powers and functions.

The GoM comprises of Finance Minister, Coal Minister, Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Power Minister among others.

PTI

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