The changes proposed in the bill are likely to ease bottlenecks in the sector by giving more power to the centre over states
The mines and minerals development and regulation or MMDR Bill 2015 has been passed by parliament today. The changes proposed in the bill are likely to ease bottlenecks in the sector by giving more power to the centre over states.
All the mineral concessions will now be granted through auction only. Mining leases will be auctioned for some of the notified minerals like iron ore, bauxite, limestone and Manganese Ore. The other deep seated minerals, their prospective licences as well as mining leases will be auctioned.
This ordinance will benefit the companies and the miners which were already mining since it will pave the way for them to open up mining which was stalled due to various court cases and PILs all across due to illegal mining. This will also deters illegal miners as there are jail terms as well as special court and illegal mining bill has a penalty of Rs 5 lakh per hectare instead of Rs 25000 earlier.
There is also transition period given to already mining companies. For captive mining there is 15 years and for merchant miners 5 years. It has a uniform 50 years of mining life to these miners.
So, all in all it is good news for the states which will get the proceeds from the auction as well as royalty which will be almost like the coal auction we are seeing right. SBI Capital is being consulted for formulating rules.