Minister of Coal
The bill proposes to streamline the auction process and renewals for minerals and coal mining rights with an aim to harness full potential of the mineral sector, generate employment and bring more investment in the sector to increase the revenue of the States.
The bill proposes to amend the Act Mines and Minerals, which regulates mining sector of the country.
Salient Points ()
As per the Act, the central government has the right to reserve any mine (except coal, lignite, and atomic minerals) to lease for a particular end-use (iron ore for steel factory).
The bill proposes to remove this restriction.
Captive mines would be able to sell upto 50% of their production in the open market after meeting their own requirement.
The bill empowers the central government to conduct auction if the state government is unable to complete the auction process in the stipulated time.
Statutory clearance would remains valid throughout the lease period to the new lessee.
Earlier, the new lessee was required to take clearance with two years of the lease.
The bill adds the provision for allocation of mines (whose lease got expired) to government company for 10 years or selection of new lessee,(whichever is earlier).
All right to obtain a prospecting license or a mining lease would get expired on the commencement of 2021 amendment act.
Expenditure incurred onwards reconnaissance or prospecting operations would be reimbursed to such people.
The bills provides the provision to extend the period of mining lease (only government companies) on payment of additional amount as prescribed in the bill.
The bill empowers the state government to increase the threshold period of lapsed lessee for upto 1 year.
Asper the act the lessee would expire:
- If the operations are not started within 2 years of the grant
- Discontinued mining operations for a period of 2 years.
The bill removes the provision for a non-exclusive reconnaissance permit.
India produces 95 minerals and has huge potential like other countries (South Africa and Australia). But the mining sector is under-explored in our country which results in importing minerals like Gold and Coal. Bringing reforms to existing act would help India to explore its own market and would reduce mineral imports.
Introduced in Lok Sabha
Bill passed in Lok Sabha.
WHY (as per the govt)
- This will help to bring more transparency in the auction process.
- Mining reforms would increase national GDP focusing upon increasing mineral exploration, production & domestic supplies
- This would attract investment into the sector.
- It would help help India gain access to high-end technology for underground mining used by miners across the globe.
WHY NOT (as per opposition)
- The Bill fails to acknowledge the adverse impact on environment and bio-diversity.
- It is a threat on lives of people residing close to the mines.
- The bill invades the federal structure of the states
Captive mines are those which produces coal/minerals for exclusive use by the company that owns the mines.
It cannot sell (surplus or unused minerals) in the open market.
Statutory clearance are the key clearance required to commence mining operation.
List of statutory clearance include:
- Forest clearance
- Wild life clearance (sanctuary, reserve or special zone clearances)
- Environmental clearance
- Gram Sabha consent
- Consent of surface right holders
- Explosive license
- Pollution Board clearance
- Mining plan
Ground water clearance (Centre/State)
- Railway siding approval
- Approval for diesel storage
Reconnaissance Permit is a permit granted for the purpose of undertaking any operation for preliminary prospecting of a mineral through regional, aerial, geophysical or geochemical surveys and geological mapping, but does not include pitting, trenching, drilling.