Cabinet approves creation of coal regulator

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The cabinet committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved formation of coal regulator through an executive order. Analysts feel the move would further undermine the proposed entity, which was anyway seen to be toothless and incapable of pushing the much-needed reforms in a sector afflicted by state monopoly. Practically, the views of the coal ministry will continue to prevail on the states granting of mining leases, and the ministry and CIL would continue to unilterally determine the prices of the fuel.

The regulator’s role would be restricted to formulating the methodology for pricing, and analysts say that being not adequately empowered, even here, the ministry would be in a position to influence the regulator. The regulator can set the terms and conditions for opening a mine, but would have only a advisory role on the cacellation and suspension of mining licences.