New Delhi, Oct 19: A draft revised bill for appointing a coal regulator will be placed before the next meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) currently considering the matter, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaisawal said Friday.
The union cabinet in May discussed the proposal for a coal regulator and asked a Group of Ministers to make recommendations about its powers and functions.
Independent regulation of the coal sector is considered important for competitiveness of e-auction, fixing guidelines for price revision in supply pacts, fixing trading margins and increasing transparency in allocation of reserves.
A coal regulator was recommended in the Integrated Energy Policy, as well as by the T.L. Shankar Committee on coal sector reforms.
Speaking to mediapersons here, the coal minister said both coal production and offtake by Coal India (CIL) registered record increase during the past two quarters.
While CIL’s production grew at 9 percent compared to the corresponding half-year of the last fiscal, coal offtake also grew at 8.7 percent over the period of April to October 2011.
Coal supply to the power sector during April to Oct 2012 increased by 12 percent.
Despite an adverse first half of the year for the coal sector due to controversies and heavy rainfall affecting production, CIL would achieve its highest ever production target during this year, the minister said.
The state miner hopes to produce 467.028 million tonnes of coal against a target of 464.10 million tonnes for the current fiscal.
On the issue of CIL’s fuel supply agreements (FSAs) with power companies and on price pooling, Coal Secretary S.K. Srivastava said CIL is ready to sign FSAs with 80 percent trigger level, which would comprise of 15 percent imported coal on cost-plus-basis for this year.
Elaborating on the matter, CIL chairman S. Narsing Rao said: “The imported coal would be supplied on cost-plus-basis only on confirmed commitments from the consumers.”