Cabinet defers decision on FCRA

New Delhi: The government on Friday once again deferred a decision on a Bill that seeks to give more powers to commodity markets regulator FMC as Foods and Consumer Affairs Minister K V Thomas was not present in Cabinet meeting.

"The Forward Contract Regulation Act (Amendment) Bill has been deferred," a minister present in the Cabinet meeting told reporters.

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, did not think it to be prudent to take up the Bill since Thomas was not present in the meeting, sources said.

The Forward Contract Regulation Act (Amendment) Bill is considered essential for development of commodities futures trade as it aims to strengthen Forward Markets Commission (FMC) by providing it financial autonomy.

The Bill also facilitates the entry of institutional investors. It also aims to pave the way for introduction of new products for trading such as options and futures.

The Cabinet had deferred a decision on this Bill last month also following opposition from UPA constituent Trinamool Congress.

Trinamool Congress had earlier communicated to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about its reservation on the proposed amendment to the Bill. It wanted to have more discussion on the Bill before being cleared.