GoM on coal Bill okayed

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The Financial Express, June 05, 2012

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has approved the formation of a nine-member ministerial panel to sort out differences over the draft Bill for setting up a regulatory authority for the coal sector.

?The Prime Minister has approved the formation of a group of ministers (GoM) (to look into the draft Bill). The government has notified the formation of GoM today? a top coal ministry official told PTI.

Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, home minister P Chidambaram, environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, power minister Sushilkumar Shinde are part of the GoM, the official said.

Mines minister Dinsha Patel, corporate affairs minister M Veerappa Moily, labour minister Mallikarjun Kharge and law minister Salman Khurshid are the other members.

The government is yet to take a call on who will head the GoM, the official said.

The Cabinet in its meeting on May 10 considered the note regarding constitution of coal regulatory authority and favoured the GoM, once set up, immediately look into setting up the coal regulatory authority.

The coal ministry had moved a draft Bill to the Cabinet which could not reach a consensus on some of the provisions in the Bill.

Sources had said that some of the ministers were against grant of so many executive functions to the regulator.

Besides ensuring transparency in allocation of coal blocks, the proposed Bill seeks to provide a level-playing field to all stakeholders and promote investment in the sector.

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