Govt fast tracks regulatory body for coal
The Centre has initiated work on setting up a regulatory body for the coal sector on fast-track basis. "We’ve already begun the process and this will be institutionalised within the next three months," stated the Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal at a press conference organised during his maiden visit to Kolkata recently.
The proposed Coal Regulatory Authority, which finds a place in the ministry’s agenda for 100 days, is expected to herald significant changes in the coal sector through wider participation of private sector players leading to creation of a competitive coal market for user industries.More significant, the regulatory body would be responsible for domestic coal pricing, a sticky and politically sensitive issue particularly for a mass use energy item like coal.
The minister also deflated specific questions on any attempt to hike coal prices saying that the issue was not under consideration presently. "The target is not to raise prices but to raise production. It is not necessary to raise prices," he said, while insisting "priority will be given to power sector."