Coal sector regulator proposal revived
The Coal Ministry has already announced rules for the auction and is in the final stages of drawing up a list of coalblocks. It will be offered to private miners to produce without any end-use restrictions and ushering in an end to the nationalization of coal mining since 1974.
With the advent of private miners in the country, the CoalMinistry has revived the years-old plan of setting up an independent coal sector regulator to arbitrate between private coal producers, government coal mining companies and consumers, in line with the model followed in the telecommunications sector, which is regulated by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and sees airwaves auctioned by government.
Disputes over grades, and boulders and stones in coalconsignments have been vexed issues between powercompanies, and coal miners and with more players coming into the industry, the government reckons the issue of quality has to be put under the mandate of an independent regulator.