NEW DELHI : The Ministry of Mines is planning to amend the mining law and related rules to put a ceiling of two years instead of 20 for deemed extension of mines if the renewal applications are not disposed of by the concerned state government before the expiry of the original lease.

The Supreme Court’s stamp on the automatic renewal of all iron ore mining leases in Goa up to November 2007 under the present provision and the Shah Commission’s pointer to gross irregularities due to the menace of deemed extension to mines in Goa and Odisha have been noted for reducing the deemed extension period, ministry sources said.

They said the Apex Court’s judgment has various other features to curb illegal mining and these will also be incorporated in the amendments in the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act (MMDR).

Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has ordered re-drafting of the Bill for amending the Act that lapsed with the end of the previous Lok Sabha’s tenure and take views of the concerned stakeholders before bringing it before the Cabinet for approval to table in Parliament. The ministry is also seeking opinion of the stakeholders on method of issuing the mining leases and a provision of 26 per cent profit sharing by the displaced population in case of the coal and lignite mines.

The mines minister has already got a note circulated for revision of the rates of the royalty to the concerned state governments that have not been revised since 2009 as against the practice of the revision every three years.

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