The Centre appears to be in favour of auction route for allocation of mines as has been earlier proposed in the draft MMDR Bill, which it intends to bring in the ongoing session of Parliament for passage.
“Based on discussions, I think that Mines Ministry has decided to take the auction route for allocation of mines even as some industry representatives voiced their reservations,” a source present in a deliberation with Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said today.
The minister held deliberations with representatives of miners, end-users and other stakeholders on the draft Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 2014, seeking inputs, feedback and suggestions on omission and commission in the proposed Bill.
Apart from industry bodies such as Ficci and Assocham, captains of steel industry like T V Narendran of Tata Steel , C S Verma of SAIL , Sajjan Jindal of JSW Steel and Naveen Jindal of JSPL took part in the deliberation.
An official release, following the discussions, said Tomar stated that the auction route suggested in the proposed Bill had been included after active discussions and inputs from the state governments.
The proposed auction route has already had its share of criticism from Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI). It said auctioning of mines as proposed in the draft Bill will sound the death knell of the industry. It has also written to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi airing its apprehension.
Contending that the auction route was not pursued in any resource-rich country, FIMI said, they follow the time-tested principle of ‘first-cum-first-served’.
Tomar also emphasised that the objective of the Bill was to kick-start the mining sector by removing bottlenecks that are preventing the industry from becoming a growth-multiplier in the country. Government was working towards bringing in transparency in the systems, ensuring fair share of value for government and creating an investor-friendly environment in the mining industry, he added.
“Government’s intention is to bring the Bill in the ongoing session of Parliament,” the statement said.