Government Holding Talks With Stakeholders for New Mines Bill

Government Holding Talks With Stakeholders for New Mines Bill
New Delhi:

The government will soon come out with a new Mines Bill in consultation with all stakeholders in place of the lapsed previous Bill, which provided sharing of 26 per cent of the profit with the miners.

"We are holding talks with all stakeholders. We will be discussing the issues with the states and come out with a Mines Bill soon where allotment of resources is in the national interest," Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told reporters in Delhi.

After meeting a delegation of CII, which called on to press for various demands including changes in the MMDR Bill, he said various options were being weighed including "first come first serve" and "auction" for grant of mining leases to companies.

The Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2011 that provided for sharing of 26 per cent of profits with the project affected people has lapsed.

Seeking to replace a more than half-a-century-old law, the UPA-II government in 2011 had tabled the MMDR Bill, 2011 in Lok Sabha in December, 2011. But, it could not be passed.

The 1957 Act of the same name has already been amended several times and further amendments may not clearly reflect the objects emanating from the New National Mineral Policy.

The MMDR Bill, 2011 also sought to empower the state governments to constitute special courts for the purpose of providing speedy trial of the offences relating to illegal mining.

It also intended to empower the central government to intervene in the cases of illegal mining where the concerned state government fails to take action against illegal mining.

The Bill envisaged introduction of competitive bidding process to encourage the participation of private parties in the sector.

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