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Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015

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This bill amends the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957

Key highlights of bill:

  • Date of passing: 3rd March 2015
  • The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 24 February 2015.
  • It replaces an ordinance promulgated in January.
  • It was passed even it was protested by members from TMC, BJD, and RSP.
  • Legislation, steel and mines minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that bill once enacted will increase the
    • Transparency
    • End discretion
    • Increase production
    • Benefit the local population.
  • The bill encourages spending of fixed percentage of revenue generated from mining on the
    • development of local areas
    • abolition of discretionary power enjoyed by governments, which in turn will decrease corruption
  • Addition of a new 4th Schedule in to parent Act in order to include bauxite, iron ore, limestone and manganese ore as notified minerals.
  • It allows the union government to increase the area limits for mining, instead of providing additional leases.
  • It creates a new category of mining license named, the prospecting license-cum-mining lease, which is a two stage-concession for the purpose of undertaking prospecting operations (exploring or proving mineral deposits) followed by mining operations.
  • It changes the lease period for all minerals other than;
    • Coal
    • Lignite and
    • Atomic minerals.
    • Mining leases for minerals shall be granted for a period of 50 years.
  • On expiry of the lease, the leases shall be put up for auction, instead of being renewed.
  • The tenure of the mineral concession has been increased from the existing 30 years to 50 years.
  • It specifies that any lease granted before the commencement of the Bill, shall be extended
    • up to 31 March 2030 for minerals used for captive purpose and up to 31 March 2020 for minerals used for other than captive purpose or
    • Till the completion of renewal period or
    • for a period of 50 years from the date of grant of such lease,

Whichever is later.

  • It states that union government shall prescribe the terms and conditions and procedure for auction for the selection of bidders.
  • For mining leases, the government may reserve particular mines for a specific end use and allow only eligible end users to participate in the auction.
  • It states that the holder of a mining lease or prospecting license-cum-mining lease may transfer the lease to any eligible person, with the approval of the state government and as specified by the Union government. 
  • The DMF (District Mineral Foundation) is to be established by the state government and NMET (National Mineral Exploration Trust) shall be established by the union government for regional and detailed mine exploration.
  • There is separate provision for contribution to the DMF not exceeding 1/3rd of the royalty rate in the respective minerals.
  • This sector forms over two percent of total GDP. 
  • 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.
Penned by Prerika Gupta