The Government on Tuesday deferred a Group of Ministers (GoM) meeting to discuss the draft Coal Regulatory Authority Bill.

The meeting has been cancelled because of ongoing discussions in the Lok Sabha on Banking laws (Amendment) Bill 2011, Coal Ministry officials said. 

The GoM headed by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram was earlier scheduled to meet on Tuesday afternoon. This was to be the second GoM meet on the issue.

The Union Coal Ministry has diluted the pricing power that was earlier proposed to be given to the coal regulator. The move by the nodal ministry comes after a Group of Ministers raised concerns during its first meeting on July 25.

What this means is that now the Ministry’s functions will be preserved and there will no longer be any overlaps with the regulatory authority.

“Earlier, it was proposed that the regulator would “determine the price of raw coal and washed coal and any other by-products generated during the process of coal washing’’.

In addition, the Coal Ministry has kept with itself the power to grant permission for opening a coal mine or cancelling it. Also, the regulator would not overlook the laws administered by the Ministry of Labour, Mines, and Environment and Forests.

siddhartha.s@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 18, 2012)
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