New Delhi: The Union Cabinet will on Thursday consider a bill to give more powers to commodity markets regulator FMC and introduction of new products like options.

Last week, the Cabinet had deferred the Forward Contract Regulation Act (Amendment) bill 2010 after opposition from key UPA constituent Trinamool Congress.

"The bill is on the agenda of the Cabinet meeting on Thursday," a source said.

Despite reservation expressed by the Trinamool Congress, sources said that the Food Ministry has not made any changes in the bill.

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

The Food and Consumer Affairs Ministry has accepted most of the recommendations of the Parliamentary panel. Sources said the panel has suggested increasing the penalty structure to discourage any violation of provisions of FCRA.

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.

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

The panel had also suggested allowing financial institutions and banks, mutual funds, and insurance companies to participate in forward market so as to ensure better price discovery and lower volatility.

Currently, there are five national and 16 regional commodity bourses in the country. Their annual turnover stood at Rs 181.26 lakh crore during the 2011-12 fiscal.


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