New Delhi: Recommendations of the Group of Ministers (GoM) looking into a proposed Bill to regulate the coal sector will go to the Cabinet within two-three months, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said today.
“Today, no decision has been taken. All ministries have presented their views. There will be at least 3-4 meetings,” he told reporters after the first meeting of the nine-member GoM on coal regulatory Bill.
The GoM is headed by Home Minister P Chidambaram.
Besides ensuring transparency in coal blocks allocations, the draft Bill seeks to provide a level-playing field to all stakeholders and promote investment in the sector.
“The home minister has said the next meeting will happen soon. It (GoM recommendations) will go to the Cabinet before two-three months,” Jaiswal added.
Law Minister Salman Khurshid, a GoM member, said the panel looked in different aspects of the Bill, but no decision was taken. He also said no date for the next meeting has been finalised.
“It’s a regulatory authority, so what it will do and how much will do, I think needs to be expanded. What needs to be done has been highlighted and Coal Ministry will come back with more homework on it….More information is required,” he added.
The coal ministry had moved draft Bill for constitution of a coal regulatory authority to the Cabinet earlier.
However, following reservations expressed by some ministries on some provisions of the bill, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month set up the GoM.
As per the draft, the coal sector regulator’s functions include granting authorisation for undertaking mining, monitoring and enforcing closure of mines and determining price of raw and washed coal.
Also, the regulator will attempt to expedite resolution of disputes relating to pricing of coal and put in place benchmarks for performance of companies in the sector.
Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia are part of the ministerial panel among others.