BHUBANESWAR: The Centre has proposed further amendment of a few rules under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act, 2015 to expedite the pace of auction of new mineral blocks.
Circulating two drafts of the Mineral (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Amendment Rules, 2021 and the Mineral (Auction) Second Amendment Rules, 2021 among mineral bearing states, mining industries, industry associations and other stakeholders, the Ministry of Mines has sought views and suggestions before May 14.
This is a part of the pre-legislative consultation to amend the Mineral (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Rules, 2015 and the Mineral (Auction) Rules, 2015, and the amended rules will come into effect from the date of publication in the official gazette.
The Ministry has proposed to amend sub-rule 3 and 4 of rule 6 of the Mineral (Auction) Rules, 2015 which provides the State government power to reserve a mine or mines for any particular specified end use. "The State government shall not reserve any mine for captive purpose in the auction," the draft rules said.
"Where the State government has auctioned a mine as a captive one for any particular specified end use before the commencement of the Mineral (Auction) Second Amendment Rules, 2021, up to 50 per cent of total mineral produced in such captive mine in a financial year can be sold in market while ensuring that not less than 50 per cent of total mineral produced in such captive mine shall be used during the financial year for meeting the requirement of the end use plant linked with the mine and on payment of such additional amount as specified in the Sixth Schedule of the Act," it added.
This will substitute the sub-rule 4 of the principal rule. With the state governments developing cold feet about auctioning of explored coal and non-coal mineral blocks, the Centre has already made necessary changes in the rules to conduct auction on behalf of the states.
Bringing further changes in the auction rules, the Ministry said, "In case the Central government decides to notify an area for auction or conduct auction for mining lease under the provision of sub-section (3) or (4) of section 10B, as the case may be, the provisions of rules 5 to 9 as applicable on a state government, shall mutatis mutandis be also applicable on the Central government."
After successful completion of the auction, the Central government will intimate details of the preferred bidder in the auction to the State government for granting mining lease to the successful bidder.