Stakeholders, analysts hail mining reforms

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January 15, 2021 8:14 AM

Apart from freeing over 500 blocks stuck in legacy issues, the Cabinet is learnt to have also gave the go-ahead for reallocation of several non-producing blocks of state-run companies.

mining and minerals act reformsThose with captive leases will be allowed to sell the minerals in the open market.

Mining sector stakeholders hailed the reform proposals approved by the Cabinet, but said that these structural changes should have come much earlier. The Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a proposal to amend relevant law for re-allocations of partially or minimally explored blocks through competitive bidding & offers seamless prospecting licence-cum-mining-leases. The changes will be effected by amending the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act passed in 2015.

“There is not a single proposal for which the wait for six years is worth the while. All proposals are in the right direction, but has now come only after a huge lag. These could well have been part of the amendment of the MMDR Act, way back 2015. However, its always better late than never,” said a Karnataka-based mine owner. Consultancy firm EY India’s national leader (metals & mining) Saurabh Bhatnagar said, “These changes will build transparency and speed of the permit, licence and lease process, facilitate evacuation readiness of minerals hitherto been unproductive because of procedural gaps & bottlenecks.”

Apart from freeing over 500 blocks stuck in legacy issues, the Cabinet is learnt to have also gave the go-ahead for reallocation of several non-producing blocks of state-run companies, a move that could also enthuse the private players as many of these blocks have abundant proven resources. Also, the employment-intensive, but highly under-invested sector, will get a fillip from a Cabinet decision to do away with end-use restrictions for miners. Those with captive leases will be allowed to sell the minerals in the open market.

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