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Money Jul 19, 2012

Cabinet defers Forward Contract amendment bill again

New Delhi: The government today deferred consideration of a Bill that seeks to amend an existing Act to give more powers to commodity markets regulator FMC due to opposition from UPA constituent Trinamool Congress.

The Bill is essential for the development of commodities futures market as it aims to strengthen the regulator FMC by providing financial autonomy, facilitate the entry of institutional investors and introduce new products for trading such as options and indices.

Wait for commodities futures market continues. Reuters

The Cabinet had deferred the Forward Contract Regulation Act (Amendment) Bill last week too as Trinamool Congress had opposed it.

According to highly placed sources, the prime minister informed the meeting that the Bill would not be taken up for the discussion by the Cabinet as Railway Minister Mukul Roy, who represents Trinamool Congress, had written another letter.

TMC had last week written a letter opposing the amendment in its present form, which led to the deferment of the proposal.

Sources said Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was also not present at Cabinet meeting today.

The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in December 2010 and referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee, which submitted its report on 22 December, last year.

The food and consumer affairs ministry has accepted most of the recommendations of the Parliamentary panel. Sources said the panel had suggested increasing the penalty structure to discourage any violation of provisions of Forward Contract Regulation Act (FCRA).

The parliamentary panel had recommended greater autonomy to FMC, which regulates both spot and futures commodity exchanges.

PTI

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