Union coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on Thursday said the coal regulator is likely to be set up by the end of this financial year.
"We hope the coal regulator will be set up in this fiscal itself," Jaiswal told reporters on the sidelines of an energy summit here organised by the South Asia Forum for Infrastructure Regulation and Proactive Universal Group.
Though there is opposition from certain states, he said, he is hopeful of having the regulator in place this fiscal itself.
On the concerns raised about the 'no-go' policy of the environment ministry, Jaiswal said, "there are environmental concerns about coal mining. But there is no such thing like go or no-go. The environment ministry will resolve the issue on a case to case basis."
On whether the country will be able to achieve the coal production target for this fiscal because of the delays in mining licensing, he said, "we have not been able to achieve coal production target this year mainly because of the various setbacks we are facing including that of environmental clearances. But we expect production to rise next year."
Coal production grew 7% last year but it has been flat so far this year.
"But for the next year we are targeting seven per cent increase in production," he said.
On Coal India acquiring overseas assets, Jaiswal said, "the primary work of CIL is to raise production and develop the sector. Yet CIL is importing coal and there have also been delays in long-term import contracts. But we are not much keen on imports. CIL will have to focus on riasing its production."
CIL has already acquired coal blocks in Mozambique.
"CIL has also issued expression of interest for acquiring overseas assets. We will support that but we want CIL to increase its production," he added.
CIL, which owns the world's largest coal reserves, has also received supply offers from 11 overseas coal companies including Rio Tinto, Xstrata, Peabody, Massey Energy and Sinar Mas.