The Ministry of Mines has notified the Minerals (Other than Atomic and Hydro Carbons Energy Mineral) Concession (Fourth Amendment) Rules, 2021 to amend The Minerals (Other than Atomic and Hydro Carbons Energy Mineral) Concession Rules, 2016 (MCR, 2016).
- Earlier in March 2021, amendments were made in the Mines and Minerals (Development and Amendment) Act, 1957 (‘MMDR Act’) by the MMDR Amendment Act, 2021 to increase employment and investment in the mining sector and now in order to implement those amendments the MCR, 2016 has been amended.
- The interest rate for delayed payments of royalty and penalty was halved to 12 percent from 24 percent.
Highlights of Amendments in the Rules:
i.The amendment was made for the transfer of mines, both captive and non-captive, without any charges.
ii.New rules were inserted to enable Captive non-coal, non-fuel mines to sell 50 percent of their annual production from the captive leases in the open market.
- This move will improve the availability of raw materials like iron ore, limestone, gypsum and others and boost India’s manufacturing competitiveness.
iii.Provisions were added to allow the disposal of overburden/ waste rock/ mineral below the threshold value, which is generated during the course of mining/beneficiation of the mineral.
iv.The minimum area for the grant of mining lease changed from 5 ha. (Hectare) to 4 ha. For specific deposits, minimum 2 ha. is provided.
v.The part surrender was allowed only in case of non-grant of forest clearance. Earlier part surrender of mining lease area was allowed in all cases.
vi.Rules for the period of mining lease granted to Government companies and their payments incorporated in the MCR, 2016 was also changed.
- Previously, the rules provided for a penalty of imprisonment up to 2 years or a fine up to 5 lakh rupees or both for violation of each and every rule irrespective of the severity of the violation.
- The current Amendment has categorized the violations of the rules (i)Major Violations: Penalty of imprisonment, fine or both, (ii)Minor Violations: Penalty of only fine for such violations prescribed, and (iii)Violation of 49 rules has been decriminalized.
viii.The Ministry has made rescission of two rules, such as Minerals (Transfer of Mining Leases Granted Otherwise than through Auction for Captive Purpose) Rules, 2016 and Mineral (Mining by Government Company), Rules, 2015.
About Ministry of Mines:
Union Minister – Pralhad Joshi (Dharwad, Karnataka)
Minister of State – Raosaheb Dadarao Danve(Jalna, Maharashtra)