Union Cabinet on 5 January 2015 approved promulgation of ordinance to amend the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Act, 1957. The ordinance will amend the mining laws to auction the Iron ore and other minerals and pave the way for more transparent allocation of minerals.
Main Highlights of the Ordinance
• The ordinance will pave the way for introduction of competitive bidding for allocation of minerals (iron ore and other non-coal mines).
• The auctioning of minerals will induce transparency and royalty-sharing will compensate project-affected locals.
• The amendment will also enable creating District Mineral Funds for the welfare of the project-affected people
• The amendment will impose additional tax on miners in the form of benefit-sharing as percentage of royalty that is credited to District Mineral Funds.
• The amendments will allow transfer of mining leases, the allocation of leases covering far larger areas that is up to 100 sq km than the existing average of 10 sq km and longer periods of up to 50 years.
• The amendment will allow the entry of large foreign miners and ramp up raw material supply for steel and aluminium companies.
• The amendment also sought to attract private investment and latest technology and it will do away with administrative delays and more powers to the central government such as in setting the time limit for auctions.
• The amendment allows the companies holding the mines already - moratorium of five years for non-captive mines and 15 years for captive leases.
Earlier in December 2014, Union Government approved ordinances to auction coal mines, increase the foreign investment ceiling in insurance from 26 percent to 49 percent and also amended land acquisition-related laws.
When: 5 January 2015