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GoM on coal regulator may meet this week

GoM on coal regulator may meet this week

New Delhi: The inter-ministerial panel, which is to decide on the setting up of regulatory authority for the coal sector, is likely to meet again this week.

"The meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) that was to be held on May 6, will now take place on May 7," a Coal Ministry official said.

The GoM is headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

The last meeting of GoM remained inconclusive as there were differing opinions among members on certain issues, including the pricing of coal, sources said.

They added that the Ministry of Power felt that the regulator should have the fuel pricing power, while the Coal Ministry was opposed to it.

"We discussed the Coal Regulator Bill, but we are yet to arrive at any result," Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had told reporters after the GoM meeting last month.

Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is also a member of the GoM, said that some more clauses may get inserted in the proposed Bill and thereafter a final draft of the Bill will be presented to the GoM for approval.

"Some important facts have been discussed. We will put 3-4 more clauses and in the next week or 10 days. Planning Commission, power and coal ministries will meet and prepare the final draft to be presented to the GoM," he had said.

In January, the government had said that it would soon appoint a coal regulator to monitor fuel pricing, sampling and other practices in the sector.

The setting up of an independent regulator for the coal sector is considered important for fixing guidelines for price revision, improving competitiveness in the e-auctions, setting trading margins and increasing transparency in the allocation of reserves.

Earlier, the Cabinet had discussed the proposal for the regulator and asked the GoM to make recommendations on its powers and functions.

The GoM also includes Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

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