Govt to appoint regulator for coal sector soon

Govt to appoint regulator for coal sector soon

"A cabinet note for appointment of a coal regulator has been approved by the Ministry of Coal...It is planned to send the same to Cabinet along with concerned Bill, which will then, after approval, be introduced in Parliament shortly," a Planning Commission presentation before the full Plan panel chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.

Stressing the need for coal sector reforms, the presentation said, "Independent regulation of coal sector becomes essential to ensure that e-auction remains competitive, to fix formulae for price revision for long-term fuel supply, to fix trading margins and to improve exploitation and allocation of available resources.

"The coal regulator will come up after the Bill is passed. There is a need to review the existing functioning of the regulators to identify specific measures which can promote competition and develop markets," it added.

The need for a regulator for the sector has been raised earlier too. While presenting the Budget for 2008-09, the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram had stated that "a new Coal Distribution Policy was notified in October 2007. A coal regulator will be appointed."

The Coal Ministry had appointed the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) as Consultant on need for an independent regulator for coal sector. ASCI had submitted a report in this connection.