As part of the government’s initiative to resolve issues blocking development of mining and coal projects, it has been decided to constitute an Inter-Ministerial Committee within the next one week to help find a way out to the issues raised by private companies on coal allocation.

“There are number of issues which need to be addressed. We have got a feedback from the private sector with regard to linkages for the captive coal blocks or the ones which are facing environmental clearance issues. We have decided to set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee to look into these issues. It will come up with policy resolutions,” Coal Secretary S. K. Srivastava told reporters here.

The issues identified by the committee would then be put up before the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) for taking a decision on the plan of action that needs to be evolved to push development in this area. The committee is likely to study the feedback given by the private sector on the roadblocks faced by them after allocation of coal mines, including getting various clearances at the Central and the State level.

About the coal block auction, Mr. Srivastava said: “We are moving ahead. There are certain issues, especially with regard to the floor price. We have a meeting with the Finance Ministry on Wednesday, and we will discuss how the pricing for the power sector will be done.”

He said the Coal Ministry was trying to introduce the Coal Regulatory Authority Bill in the budget session. The setting up of an independent regulator for the coal sector is considered crucial for improving competitiveness in e-auctions, fixing guidelines for price revision in supply pacts, setting trading margins and increasing transparency in the 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.