【New Delhi】A day after confusion over the reported clearance of the mining laws ordinance by the Union Cabinet, senior government officials told Business Standard it had been approved on the 5th of January but with a few significant changes from the Bill in question.
The changed regime will allow awarding of multiple reconnaissance permits to public and private companies in the same area under an ‘Open sky policy’ and setting up a National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET). These are in addition to introduction of auctioning and provisions for benefit sharing with project-affected locals.
The ministry plans to quash the 60,000-odd applications for mineral concession and renewals pending at the state level, before starting the auctioning of minerals, except in a few cases where action is in progress.
○Mining ordinance may hike costs, block existing ventures
【Mumbai】If the ordinance drafted by the government to amend the 57-year-old Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act is approved by the President, the auction of hundreds of mining leases for major minerals like iron ore, copper, bauxite and limestone could be fast-tracked. While the auction would ensure transparency and boost government revenue, the industry feels the ordinance could jack up costs and interrupt many existing ventures.
The Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) contends the auction route might not be desirable in all cases, as it could jack up costs, adding that both (existing) captive and non-captive mines should be given a 15-year transition period (the draft ordinance allows 15-year reprieve from re-auction for captive mines, while extant non-captive mines would be put to auction after five years). Private miners are also opposed to the proposal to give a special dispensation, circumventing auction, to PSUs when it comes to grant of mining rights.
Mining law: Ordinance to open exploration to pvt firms
Mining ordinance may hike costs, block existing ventures
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