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Union Cabinet approves National Mineral Policy 2019

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved National Mineral Policy 2019. The New National Mineral Policy will ensure more effective regulation and will lead to sustainable mining sector development in future.

Mar 1, 2019 12:35 IST
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The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 28, 2019 approved National Mineral Policy 2019.

The New National Mineral Policy will ensure more effective regulation and will lead to sustainable mining sector development in future while addressing the issues of project affected persons especially those residing in tribal areas.

Objective

The main objective of the policy is to have a more effective, meaningful and implementable policy that will bring in transparency, better regulation and enforcement, balanced social and economic growth as well as sustainable mining practices.

Key Highlights

The National Mineral Policy 2019 includes provisions which will give boost to mining sector such as:

- Introduction of Right of First Refusal for RP/PL holders

- Encouraging the private sector to take up exploration,

- Auctioning in virgin areas for composite RP cum PL cum ML on revenue share basis

- Encouragement of merger and acquisition of mining entities

- Transfer of mining leases and creation of dedicated mineral corridors to boost private sector mining areas.

The 2019 policy proposes to grant status of industry to mining activity to boost financing of mining for private sector and for acquisitions of mineral assets in other countries by private sector.

It also mentions that long term import export policy for minerals will help private sector in better planning and stability in business.

The new policy also mentions rationalise reserved areas given to PSUs which have not been used and to put these areas to auction, which will give more opportunity to private sector for participation.

It also mentions to make efforts to harmonise taxes, levies and royalty with world benchmarks to help private sector.

Other Details

The National Mineral Policy, 2019 will focus on make in India initiative and gender sensitivity in terms of the vision.

As far as the regulation in Minerals is concerned, E-Governance, IT enabled systems, awareness and Information campaigns have been incorporated.  

Besides, regarding the role of state in mineral development online public portal with provision for generating triggers at higher level in the event of delay of clearances has been put in place.  

Significance

The National Mineral Policy 2019 aims to attract private investment through incentives while the efforts would be made to maintain a database of mineral resources and tenements under mining tenement systems.  

The new policy would focus on the use of coastal waterways and inland shipping for evacuation and transportation of minerals and encourage dedicated mineral corridors to facilitate the transportation of minerals. 

It proposes a long term export import policy for the mineral sector to provide stability and as an incentive for investing in large scale commercial mining activity.

It also introduces the concept of Inter-Generational Equity that deals with the well-being not only of the present generation but also of the generations to come and also proposes to constitute an inter-ministerial body to institutionalise the mechanism for ensuring sustainable development in mining.

Background

The National Mineral Policy 2019 replaces the extant National Mineral Policy 2008 which was announced in the year 2008.

The impetus to review NMP 2008 came about by way of a direction from the Supreme Court through its judgment dated August 2, 2017 in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 114/2014 entitled common cause v/s union of India and others.

In compliance of the directions of the apex Court, the Ministry of Mines had constituted a committee on August 14, 2017 under the chairmanship of Dr K Rajeswara Rao, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Mines to review NMP 2008.

The Committee had members from central ministries and departments, state governments, industry associations and subordinate offices of the Ministry of Mines.

The committee also invited concerned NGOs and institutional bodies to take part in the deliberation of the committee meetings. Based on the deliberations held at committee meetings and stakeholders' comments and suggestions, a committee report was prepared and submitted to the Ministry of Mines.

The Ministry of Mines accepted the committee report and invited the comments and suggestions of the stakeholders as part of the PLCP process.

Then, based on the received suggestions in PLCP process and the suggestions from the central ministries, the Ministry of Mines finalised the National Mineral Policy 2019.

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