Independent regulatory authority for coal sector
The union cabinet has given its approval to the proposal for setting up of an independent regulatory authority for the coal sector. It has also approved the introduction of the Coal Regulatory Authority Bill, 2013 in Parliament.
The independent regulatory body will help in regulation and conservation of coal resources and this will benefit all stakeholders—coal companies, coal consuming industries such as power, steel, cement and coal bearing states and people, directly or indirectly associated with the coal industry.
The cabinet also approved that pending enactment of the legislation, the regulator will be set up through an executive order.
The role of authority would include specifying methods of testing for declaration of grades or quality of coal, monitoring and enforcing closure of mines, specifying principles and methodologies for price determination of raw coal and washed coal and any other by-produce generated during the process of coal washing, adjudicating upon disputes between parties and discharge other functions as the central government may entrust to it.
A fund called ‘The Coal Regulatory Authority Fund” would be created and all grants, fee and charges received by the authority will be credited to this fund. After passing of the Bill, details would be worked out and submitted to the government for appropriate financial sanction for the initial start-up funding.