The government today approved setting up of Coal Regulatory Authority which will be empowered to specify methodology for determining coal prices.
"The Cabinet today gave its approval to the draft Bill on the Coal Regulatory Authority," a source said. The draft Bill was prepared based on recommendations of various committees and expert groups. A Group of Ministers (GoM) had earlier approved the draft Bill which seeks to set up an independent regulatory authority for the coal sector to address contentious issues like supply and quality.
Settling the issue of fixing coal prices, the GoM had earlier decided that the proposed regulator will not determine fuel rates, a job that will continue to be vested with producers.
The regulator will, however, 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.
The Coal Ministry had earlier expressed confidence that the draft Bill on Coal Regulatory Authority will be approved by the Cabinet soon.