The West Bengal government Sunday called for expediting the appointment of a coal regulator to control the industry which, it said, had become monopolistic under state-run Coal India.
"There is a regulatory authority for various sectors like insurance, telecom, etc. Then why not the same for the coal sector? CIL (Coal India Ltd) has been arbitrarily hiking the prices and has virtual monopoly," state Power Minister Manish Gupta said here.
"The government must seriously think about expediting the appointment of the regulator," Gupta said at a seminar on Coal Management in Thermal Power Plants, organised by the West Bengal Power Development Corporation.
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.
Setting up a regulator to monitor coal resource development was recommended in the Integrated Energy Policy framed by former Planning Commission member Kirit Parikh and T.L. Shankar Committee on coal sector reforms.