DMPQ-Discuss the major points of Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Amendment Bill, 2021.

. The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2021 was introduced in Lok Sabha on March 15, 2021.  The Bill amends the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.  The Act regulates the mining sector in India.

Removal of restriction on end-use of minerals

The Act empowers the central government to reserve any mine (other than coal, lignite, and atomic minerals) to be leased through an auction for a particular end-use (such as iron ore mine for a steel plant).  Such mines are known as captive mines.  The Bill provides that no mine will be reserved for particular end-use.

Sale of minerals by captive mines

The Bill provides that captive mines (other than atomic minerals) may sell up to 50% of their annual mineral production in the open market after meeting their own needs.   The central government may increase this threshold through a notification.  The lessee will have to pay additional charges for mineral sold in the open market.

Auction by the central government in certain cases

Under the Act, states conduct the auction of mineral concessions (other than coal, lignite, and atomic minerals).  Mineral concessions include mining lease and prospecting license-cum-mining lease.  The Bill empowers the central government to specify a time period for completion of the auction process in consultation with the state government.

 

 

Transfer of statutory clearances

Upon expiry of a mining lease (other than coal, lignite, and atomic minerals), mines are leased to new persons through auction.  The statutory clearances issued to the previous lessee are transferred to the new lessee for a period of two years.  The new lessee is required to obtain fresh clearances within these two years.  The Bill replaces this provision and instead provides that transferred statutory clearances will be valid throughout the lease period of the new lessee.

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