Odisha mines auction: Centre plans to extend clearances till expiry of lease

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: As the brand new lessees of auctioned mines are dealing with difficulties in acquiring recent approvals and clearances from statutory authorities inside the specified time of two years, the Ministry of Mines has proposed to extend all rights and statutory clearances to them till the expiry or termination of the lease.

Since the transfer of the Centre wants additional reforms within the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, the Ministry has invited views of the states and different stakeholders on the draft further modification proposals to the principal Act by February 24.

“It is proposed to amend section 8B of the Act to provide that all valid rights, approvals, clearances, licences and the like granted to the lessee shall continue to be valid till exhaustion of mineable reserves and on expiry or termination of lease,” mentioned the supplementary proposal of the Ministry.

The Centre had amended the Act in January final 12 months by inserting of a brand new part 8B to switch statutory clearances to profitable bidders of the mining leases expiring by March 31, 2020. The Mineral Laws Amendment Act, 2020 offered that new lessees deemed to have acquired all legitimate rights and clearances for a interval of two years for seamless mining operations.

Nearly a 12 months after the public sale of working mines, the Ministry noticed that the lessees are dealing with hardship in acquiring the clearances and it might not be potential for them to adjust to the provisions of the brand new mining legal guidelines inside the stipulated time.

“The new lessees have to obtain 20 approvals to start the mining operations, of which nine are from different Central ministries and the remaining are from the State government. In normal course, the minimum time period required to obtain these approvals vary from two to three years,” sources mentioned.

The prolonged course of of getting all clearances is just not solely delaying the graduation of mining operations by the brand new lessees however has adversely affected the mineral manufacturing within the nation pushing the ore value available in the market and making metal manufacturing uncompetitive within the worldwide market, the sources maintained.

Appreciating the transfer of the Ministry, industries sources mentioned, “All the working mines auctioned before expiry of their leases have valid approvals and clearances. Extension of all rights would save time for the miners and boost production.”

The adjustments had been mandatory as 46 working mines (24 mines from Odisha), whose leases expired on March 31 final 12 months, have miserably failed to produce 80 per cent of the rated manufacturing capability within the earlier three years. 

In view of the shortfall in iron ore manufacturing, the Ministry has additionally proposed to amend the Mineral Concession Rules, 1960.

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