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Pending bills that matter

Pending bills that matter

Industry analysts share their views on the bills that are pending in the Parliament and how they will impact once they take the shape of a law.

Coal Regulatory Authority Bill, 2013

The Coal Regulatory Authority of India Bill (CRAI) is a much needed piece of legislation. It will provide the much needed impetus and comfort in the promotion of investment in the coal industry – it will give comfort in the coal block auctioning process.

With its charter covering the adjudication of disputes relating to quality of coal and procedure for coal sampling, it will smoothen the transactions between coal suppliers and power producers. This adjudication function of CRAI will improve the supply of coal – very important to improving energy supply.

The Bill, correctly, does not have the charter of setting coal prices. It is left to the producer and to the supply-demand situation in the market. This should result in market dynamics enabling price discovery. This too should ultimately promote investment in the coal sector, which, in turn, should benefit the energy sector.

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013

Given that the real estate sector is rife with a lack of transparency, this Bill should give comfort to home buyers. Through this comfort, it should increase the demand for residential properties and thereby stir further investment. A few aspects of the Bill in this regard are the standardisation of definitions, the use of 'carpet area' for sale, the mandatory requirement for promoters to register all projects prior to sale, the creation of the Regulatory Authority, which, in turn, will create a fast track dispute resolution mechanism and a Real Estate Appellate Tribunal.

All the above should give a significant boost to the housing sector. However, this needs to be paralleled by action by state governments with respect to enabling developers for speedy implementation and construction of real estate projects. – Rayaprolu Sambamoorthi Ramasubramaniam, Co-chairman, Feedback Infrastructure Services

Civil Aviation Authority of India Bill 2013

The Civil Aviation Authority of India Bill 2013 (legislation for a Civil Aviation Authority or CAA) was introduced in Parliament by the present government, and is among the 128 pending Bills. If passed, it will replace the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) with a legally separate regulator for the Indian Aviation sector- the Civil Aviation Authority. This transition will be under the overall oversight of the Ministry of Civil Aviation but will give the new body full operational and financial autonomy to regulate all issues concerning civil aviation safety and protect the interests of consumers in the dynamic aviation sector.

Impact/Importance: This Act will allow the Indian aviation industry to conform to international standards. Creation of the Authority would therefore fulfill one of the assurances India has made to the US FAA – setting up a CAA was one of the conditions required by India to get back the Category I status. The second reason why this Bill is important is because of the degree of autonomy this Bill would grant the regulator. While the rapidly growing aviation sector has seen a marked increase in air travel demand and aircraft movement, DGCA's capability to regulate these activities has not increased proportionately. An important reason for this being the lack of trained staff due to inadequate training facilities and the arduous UPSC recruitment processes in place. With increased administrative and financial flexibility, the CAA would be able to recruit its own staff, decide on their pay structure and have the powers to fix and collect fees for rendering services like safety oversight, passenger safety and surveillance of air navigation services. Moreover, as it would be self-financing, the CAA will have a separate fund, called the Civil Aviation Authority of India Fund, to meet all the expenses incurred by it.

In view of the burgeoning civil aviation sector footprint and vast unfolding canvas, the increasing responsibilities of the DGCA and even faster technical advancements in this sector, it is imperative to have a safety regulator who is adequately empowered to effectively carry out its functions in a seamless manner.

– Dhiraj Mathur, Executive Director – PwC India

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