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Shri Piyush Goyal Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines chairs meeting of Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to Ministry of Mines

Shri Piyush Goyal Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines chairs meeting of Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to Ministry of Mines


A meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to the Ministry of Mines was held in New Delhi yesterday for reviewing the “Steps to Expand/Promote Mining Sector”. Shri Piyush Goyal Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines chaired the meeting.

In his opening remarks, Shri Goyal informed the Committee Members that the Ministry of Mines is regularly monitoring the implementation of District Mineral Foundation (DMF) and Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY). DMF is to work for the interest and benefit of persons and areas affected by mining related operations, which is to be funded out of the contribution received from holders of mining lease. As per the latest information available 10 states have framed the rules for DMF and constituted DMFs and a total of Rs.1427.2 Cr has been collected through contributions to DMF across the states. Chhattisgarh taking the lead has launched 5 projects in Dantewada District, funded through DMF under PMKKKY. Other state governments are also processing their projects under PMKKKY.

On the occasion, the Secretary Mines, Shri Balvinder Kumar made a detailed presentation giving highlights of achievements of the Mines Ministry during 2015-16. The presentation also gave an overview of major initiatives & activities being undertaken by the Ministry of Mines. Reforms in the mining sector have been initiated through the amendment to MMDR Act, 1957 through the MMDR Amendment Ordinance, 2015 that was replaced by the MMDR Amendment Act, 2015, notified on 27th March, 2015 and which came into effect from 12th January, 2015.

He detailed out the salient provisions of the MMDR (Amendment) Act, 2015:

(i) All mineral concessions will be granted only through auction [Section 10 B & 11].

(ii) Direct auction for mining leases (ML) for bulk minerals; auction of prospecting licence-cum-mining leases (PL-cum-ML) for deep-seated minerals [Section 10 B & 11].

(iii) Uniform lease period of 50 years; no renewals; auction at the end of lease period; will solve issues arising out of all Supreme Court judgments on second and subsequent renewals [Section 8 A (1), (2), (3) and (4)].

(iv) Transition period of minimum 15 years for captive mines and 5 years for other mines; no sudden stoppage as a result of amendment [Section 8A (5) and 8A (6)]. Central Government empowered to prescribe deadlines for various processes and to issue binding directions to States [Section 20 A].

(v) Central Government to frame separate rules for atomic minerals [Amendment to Section 11 (B)].

(vi) The previous approval of the Central Government will not be required for grant of mineral concession except for Atomic Minerals, Coal and Lignite [Amendment to Section 5(1)].

(vii) Enabling powers for reservation for the public sector to continue [Section 17A(2A)].

(viii) Higher penalties and jail terms for offences; special courts may be constituted, if necessary [Amendment to Section 21(1) & (2) and Section 30].

(ix) District Mineral Foundation DMF to take care of people and areas affected by mining related operations [Section 9 (B)].

(x) National Mineral Exploration Trust NMET to be set up for impetus to exploration [Section 9 (C)].

(xi) Easy transferability of concessions obtained through auctions so as to attract private investment and FDI [Section 12 (A)].

(xii) Powers to Central Government to intervene even where State Governments do not pass orders within prescribed time lines; this will eliminate delay [Amendment to Section 30].

The MMDR Act was further amended through the MMDR Amendment Act, 2016 to allow transfer of a mining lease granted otherwise than through auction.

The following rules were framed and notified to give effect to the various provisions of the MMDR Amendment Act, 2015 and the MMDR Amendment Act, 2016:

· The Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Rules, 2015
· The Minerals (Non-exclusive Reconnaissance Permits) Rules, 2015
· The Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Rules, 2015
· The Minerals (Mining by Government Companies) Rules, 2015
· The Minerals (Other than Atomic and Hydrocarbons Energy Mineral Concession) Rules, 2015
· The Mines and Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Rules, 2015
· The National Exploration Trust Rules, 2015
· Atomic Minerals Concession Rules,2016

Talking of Initiatives in progress, the Secretary Mines said, Mineral Conservation and Development Rules (MCDR), 2016 and Offshore Areas Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 2002 (OAMDR) (Amendment) are under active consideration.

On status of auctions, the Members were informed that:

· 7 blocks of major minerals successfully auctioned
· The additionality to States’ through auctions to be over Rs.13,138 crores spread over the period of the lease.
· 37 blocks under process of auction, Notices Inviting Tenders NITs issued.
· By the year end, NITs for minimum 25 more blocks are expected to be issued.
· Constitution of Inter-Ministerial Group, post Auction mining Clearances and Approvals Facilitator (PAMCAF) to facilitate and expedite various clearances/ approvals required after the mineral block is allocated through e- auction

Elaborating the ‘Steps to Expand/ Promote Mining Sector’, Shri Balvinder Kumar said, the Ministry of Mines in its recently released National Mineral Exploration Policy-2016, has identified many activities for accelerating mineral exploration in the country. Action towards taking up these activities have already been initiated by the Geological Survey of India (GSI). Transparency is ensured in grant of mineral concessions through e-Auction of mineral blocks. The organizations of Ministry of Mines viz. GSI, MECL & IBM are offering intensive handholding of State Governments in identification of mineral blocks for auction.

Impact of various reforms can be seen from:

· Overall growth of production of metallic and non-metallic minerals- 9% during 2015-16.
· Growth in production of major minerals (2015-16):
o Iron ore – 21%
o Bauxite- 27%
o Chromite – 33%
· Index of mineral production for April – May, 2016 has shown significant jump in the mineral production of 19%.
· Strong growth results achieved during 2015-16 are further consolidated during the first quarter of 2016-17.
· Overall growth of production of metallic and non-metallic minerals registered a growth of 14.4% in the first quarter of 2016-17,driven by increase in production of:
· Iron Ore – 43.1%
· Chromite – 30.6%
· Limestone – 6%

A Skill Plan of the Ministry of Mines has been released in the National Conclave on 4-5 July, 2016 at Raipur to enable the workforce development and resources for catering the growing needs of the Indian mining industry in times to come:

· To adopt international good practices for efficiency gains
· Encourage adaptation to new technologies through skill development.
· To align the mining sector with the national objective of “Skill India” as announced by Hon’ble Prime Minister
· Ministry has prepared the “Skill Plan” for mining sector.
· PSUs of Ministry- NALCO, HCL, MECL are contributing significantly in skill development through apprentice ships and development of Centre of Excellence.
· MoUs signed by MECL, NALCO & HCL with National Skill Development Corporation

During discussion, all Members appreciated the efforts being undertaken by the Ministry and its constituent organisations GSI, IBM, NMDC, MECL etc. in enabling conducive climate for carrying out mining in India. Members suggested that more steps be undertaken by the Ministry to bring about various required transformational changes in the mining sector and to benefit the people affected by minig.

Shri Piyush Goyal assured the Members that their valuable suggestions would be considered by the Ministry.

The meeting was attended by Dr. Bharti D Shyal, Shri Hari Manjhi, Shri Kamalbhan Singh Marabi, Shri Kariya Munda, Shri Lakhan Lal Sahu, Shri Laxmi Narayan Yadav, Shri Midhun Reddy, Shri Rajesh Verma, Shri Ram Tahal Choudhary, Shri Ravindra Kumar Pandey, Shri Santosh Kumar, Shri Vijay Kumar Hansdak, Shri Vishnu Dayal Ram from Lok Sabha and Dr. Anil Kumar Sahani from Rajya Sabha.

The Special Secretary Ministry of Mines Shri R. Sridharan, CMD MECL Shri Gopal Dhawan and senior officials of the Ministry of Mines also attended the meeting.

Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network


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