Millennium Post

Mines & minerals auction Bill receives Lok Sabha approval

The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015, which will replace an ordinance promulgated in January, was passed amid vociferous protests by members from TMC, BJD and RSP.

Wrapping up the debate on the legislation, Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the bill once enacted will increase transparency, end discretion, augment production and benefit the local population.

Noting that iron ore production had gradually declined to 152 million tonnes in 2013-14 from 218 million tonnes in 2009-10 and its export fell to 16 million tonnes from 47 million tonnes, he said the ordinance was the need of the hour as the crisis in the mining sector has been increasing.

“The sector contributes over two per cent of the GDP but it was in deep crisis. It is one of the biggest employers and its revival will give jobs to our youth,” Tomar said.

The bill envisages spending of a fixed percentage of revenue generated from mining on the development of local area and abolition of discretionary power enjoyed by governments, which, Tomar said, abetted corruption.

A bill brought by the erstwhile UPA government also ostenbily sought auction but left many windows open to favour a few, the Minister claimed. “We have ceded many powers to states. We have also kept some as we cannot wash our hands of our responsibilities. We have taken into account the suggestions of states and other bodies and this bill is a revolutionary step,” he said.

2nd Round of coal Auctions to begin today

The government will on Wednesday begin the second leg of coal mine auction by putting on offer four blocks — all in Jharkhand — on the first day, with firms including Adani Power, JSW Steel, SAIL and BALCO in the race.

The mines that will be put on offer on Wednesday are Jitpur mine, Moitra mine, Brinda mine and Sasai mine in Jharkhand.

The companies vying for Jitpur mine — earmarked for the power sector — are Adani Power, Adhunik Power and Natural Resources, Jaiprakash Power Ventures and Jindal Power. Jitpur mine was earlier allocated to Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL).

Next Story
Share it