Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Government clears bill to replace coal mining ordinance
Photo: Live Mint
New Delhi, Dec 03, 2014: The government on Tuesday gave its approval to a bill on coal block auctions to replace an ordinance that was promulgated to begin auction of coal mines which were cancelled by the Supreme Court.

The bill to replace the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Ordinance, 2014 is likely to be brought before Parliament during the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament. “The Union Cabinet has approved the bill,” a source said after the meeting here.

Interestingly, the ordinance has been opposed by central trade unions, including the BJP-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS). The BMS, as also AITUC, CITU, HMS and INTUC, have jointly opposed the government’s proposal to allow private players to mine coal and sell it in the open market, a right till now reserved with the state-owned Coal India Limited. The ordinance has also come under attack from Left parties.

Meanwhile, within months of the new Companies Act coming into force, the government on Tuesday cleared a slew of changes to this law to make it easier for corporates to do business and to ensure severe punishment for those raising illegal deposits from the public.

This would be among the first major initiatives by the government to make changes in the country’s regulatory framework to improve its global ranking for ease of doing business, where India has been ranked very low at 142nd position in the latest World Bank report.

The 14 proposed amendments, which were approved by the Union Cabinet on Tuesday evening, also include the provision to ensure that frauds beyond a certain threshold would need to be compulsorily reported by the auditors to the government.

Courtesy: The Asian Age
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