Cabinet may take up coal regulator proposal tomorrow

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The Cabinet is expected to consider tomorrow the proposal for setting up a regulator for the coal sector through an executive order.

"The Cabinet may tomorrow consider the proposal to set up coal regulator through an executive order," said a source.

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had earlier informed Parliament that a non-statutory regulator for the coal sector will be set up through an executive order because enacting a legislation on the subject will take some time.

The bill for setting up a regulator for the sector is pending before Parliament.

"The competent authority has...Decided that a non- statutory Regulator to be set up through an executive order as enactment of legislation would take some time," Jaiswal said in a reply to the Lok Sabha last week.

He said that based on the recommendations of various committees, the ministry appointed a consultant to draft the Coal Regulatory Authority Bill for regulating as well as conserving resources in the sector and protecting the interests of coal consumers and producers.

The Draft Bill on the sectoral regulator was circulated to all the ministries and departments concerned, seeking their views, he said.

"After consideration of the comments received from different ministries/departments and taking them into account, the draft Bill, 2012 was prepared and submitted for the consideration of the competent authority and it was decided to refer the same to the Group of Ministers (GoM)," Jaiswal had said.

The GoM held five meetings and a draft Bill, 2013 with changes as per the discussions held in GoMs was finalised with consultations with the Law Ministry.

"The same was approved by the competent authority on June 27, 2013. The Ministry of Coal has introduced the Coal Regulatory Authority Bill, 2013 in the Lok Sabha on December 13, 2013," he said.

The regulator will be empowered to specify the principles and methodology for determination of price of raw coal and washed coal and any other by-product generated during washing.

The regulator will also regulate methods for testing for declaration of grades or quality of coal, specify procedure for automatic coal sampling and adjudicate upon disputes between the parties, monitor closure of mines and approval of mining plans among others.

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