Rajya Sabha passes MMDR Bill

A select committee of 19 members has approved the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Amendment Bill, 2015.

Mar 20, 2015 12:03 IST India Infoline News Service

In a move that will provide some respite to the Narendra Modi Government, Rajya Sabha has passed the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015.

Earlier, the CPM had moved motion to send the select panel's mining report back to the panel for more changes, which was rejected by RS members. Several members of the house had questioned the bill, as mining is a state subject and the Center's taking up the bill is seen as a move to reduce the autonomy of the states.

A select committee of 19 members has approved the  Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Amendment Bill, 2015, with two amendments, while four members in the panel moved a note of dissent. The panel, headed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament Bhupender Yadav. 

"The Committee, in view of limited ambit of amending Bill under its consideration, is of the opinion that these issues are of utmost significance that warrant serious consideration by the government. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the Ministry should consider these issues to be incorporated subsequently in the MMDR Act, 1957 at an appropriate stage as well as in the relevant rules/regulations required to be framed there under," it said.

The Bill was already passed in the Lower House of the Parliament, where the government enjoys full majority. The bill proposes  fixed percentage of revenue generated from mining on the development of the local area. Also included in the bill is non-renewal of mining concessions, and extension of licence period to 50 years from the current 30 years.  The government has already gone ahead with the course of action on MMDR bill, and has identified 199 mines for auction. The passing of the Mines and Minerals Bill in the Rajya Sabha will provide transparency in the system which will foster industrial growth and development in the country in the coming times, said Mr. Alok B. Shriram, President, PHD Chamber in a press statement issued here today.

The bill will facilitate auctions of mines that supply minerals like iron ore and bauxite which will bring down the costs of raw materials and boost business sentiments, said Mr. Shriram.

We believe that the auctions will reduce the risk of wrongdoing which will put mining industry back on track, added Mr. Shriram.

Going ahead, we expect the Lok Sabha to pass the Bill for speedy allocation of the mines that would bolster industrial growth, going forward, said Mr. Alok B Shriram.

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