Millennium Post

Core group set up to review Mines Bill

A core group would examine afresh the new Mines Bill in the light of a Parliamentary committee's recommendations that includes removal 26 per cent profit- sharing clause by coal miners with project affected people. The core group set up by the Mines Ministry would study the observations and recommendations of the Standing Committee on Coal and Steel which submitted its report to Parliament earlier this month. The Ministry will send the Bill to the Cabinet after receiving inputs from the panel.

'The Bill (Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation Bill, 2011) would have to be examined in the light of the Standing Committees recommendations. After obtaining the Cabinet approval, it would again go to Parliament,' says Mines Secretary R H Khwaja's communication to state Mines Secretaries. In the report, the Parliamentary panel recommended removal of the provision of 26 per cent profit sharing by coal and lignite miners with project-affected people as proposed in the new Bill and replacing it with a system based on royalty payments by the concerned firms.

The Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Bill 2011, seeks to replace more than half-a-century-old law under the same name and was tabled in Parliament in December, 2011. Later, it was sent to the Standing Committee.
As per the provisions of the new Mines Bill, coal and lignite miners would have to share 26 per cent of the profits from their mines with people impacted by projects.

For non-coal and non-lignite miners, the new law has proposed payment of an amount equivalent to royalty paid by the companies to the state government. The collected money was proposed to be used for the welfare of the project-affected persons through a newly created District Mineral Foundation.
The Standing Committee recommended that 'in case of coal and lignite, the mechanism for payment to District Mineral Foundation on the basis of royalty paid during the financial year may be worked out instead of an amount equal to 26 per cent of the profit and amendment be made in the relevant clause as proposed by the Ministry of Coal.'
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