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New Mines and Minerals Bill drafted

The draft Bill seeks a complete and holistic reform in the mining sector with adequate provisions to address issues relating to sustainable mining and local area development, especially families impacted by mining operations. 

After several rounds of consultation and workshop with all Stakeholders, including Central Ministries, State Governments, Industry associations and NGOs, the Ministry has prepared a draft Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2010, duly vetted by Ministry of Law and Justice, to replace the existing Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. 

The draft Bill seeks a complete and holistic reform in the mining sector with adequate provisions to address issues relating to sustainable mining and local area development, especially families impacted by mining operations. The Bill aims to ensure transparency, equity, elimination of discretions, effective redressal and regulatory mechanisms alongwith incentives encouraging good mining practices, which will also  lead to technology absorption and exploitation of deep seated minerals. 

The Draft Bill is presently referred to a Group of Ministers under the Chairmanship of Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Hon’ble Finance Minster, and based on the recommendations of the Group of Ministers and Cabinet approval, the draft Bill would be placed in the Parliament at the earliest.
Revision of rates of royalty and dead rent in respect of major minerals (non-coal minerals)

As a result of the revision of royalty rates and streamlining of the guidelines for calculation of royalty, the royalty collection for major minerals in the country has increased from Rs. 2319.21 crore in 2008-09 to Rs. 3997.42 crore in 2009-2010. State-wise increase in the royalty collections is given in table below:

 

Royalty accrual for major minerals (excluding coal and lignite)

                                                                           (In Rs. crore)

State

Royalty

2008-09

2009-10 (P)

Assam

0.63

0.94

Andhra Pradesh

242.85

370.38

Bihar

2.69

NA

Chattisgarh

153.89

474.39

Gujarat

157.86

250.00

Goa

27.46

285.91

Haryana

0.06

NA

Jammu and Kashmir

2.93

NA

Jharkhand

63.23

319.04

Karnataka

184.13

433.12

Kerala

7.24

8.81

Madhya Pradesh

191.42

351.49

Maharashtra

107.42

85.10

Meghalaya

NA

7.26

Orissa

431.35

654.46

Rajasthan

641.81

997.28

Tamilnadu

104.24

130.56

Total

2319.21

3997.42

Development of Human Resources for the Geo-Scientific Sector:- 

The Final Report on Mapping of Human Resources and Skills for the Mining Industry in India commissioned by the Ministry of Mines and CII jointly has been prepared. The study has attempted sector wise future requirement of human resources in mining sector. The estimated increase in the mining production will lead to an increase in manpower from the present level of 0.9 million to 1.1 millions in the year 2017 and 1.2 million in the year 2025. Recommendation related to the educational initiatives on capacity additions to meet the projected demand of geoscientist, mining engineers is being posed to Ministry of HRD and for skill development to the National Skill Development Coordination Board, Planning Commission, Government of India.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK – a human face to mining activities

Based on the report (2007) of the High Level Committee constituted by the Planning Commission to review the National Mineral Policy, which recommended for introducing best practices in implementation of environment management, the appropriate use of land within a land planning framework through a democratic decision making process on the basis of integrated assessment of ecological, environmental, economical and social impact; the Ministry engaged an expert consultant for creating a Sustainable Development Framework (SDF) for the  mining sector. 

The consultant taking into consideration that mining should contribute to economic, social and cultural well-being of indigenous host populations and local communities by creating stakeholders interest in mining operations for the project affected people (PAP), has prepared a draft document and submitted to the Ministry. The next stage of consultations will be taken up by the Ministry of Mines involving also the concerned mining departments at the state level.  A wider dissemination of the SDF will be undertaken before finalization and roll-out.  

Preparation of Policy for a Five Year Strategic Plan for the Ministry of Mines

The Ministry of Mines is in the process of preparing a Policy document for a Five Year Strategic Plan for the Ministry.

National Mineral Policy, 2008

The Ministry of Mines has initiated several non-legislative measures based on National Mineral Policy 2008, such as re-assessment of threshold values of important minerals, increasing the spread of United Nations Framework Classification (UNFC) for minerals, developing mining tenement registry, zero-waste mining including cluster mining.  In this new scheme of things, IBM has a very significant role to play.

INDIAN BUREAU OF MINES

In the wake of recent spate of illegal mining in different parts of the country, IBM has played a proactive role in curbing and controlling the menace.  Indian Bureau of Mines constituted Special Task Forces for inspection of mines in endemic areas by taking the help of satellite imageries. Task Force-I, constituted for checking illegal mining in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Gujarat and Jharkhand have inspected 106 mines and recommended 60 mines for suspension.  

Another 4 mines have also suspended due to non-rectification of violations. Task Force-II, constituted for curbing illegal mining inspected 67 mines in Karnataka and 18 mines were suspended.  In the second phase, 162 mines were inspected in Karnataka, Orissa and Jharkhand and 43 mines were suspended.

By a recent notification, IBM has been entrusted with the additional responsibility of granting of exploration license in the off-shore water of Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.

Considering the role and responsibility of IBM in the emerging scenario, a Committee has been set up in the Ministry for restructuring of IBM.  The report of the Committee is under finalization.

Prevention of Illegal mining

Illegal mining is a bane to the entire mining sector as it leads to not only revenue loss but also encourages unscientific mining. Even though the State Governments, as the owner of minerals and vested with machinery for maintaining law and order, are empowered to take action, given the scale and nature of increase of the activity the State Governments have been finding it difficult to tackle this menace.  

With increasing incidents of the illegal mining being reported, the Central Government is collaborating with the State Governments to enable the use of modern technology like satellite imagery, geo-referencing of boundaries using GPS,  transport regulation, compulsory registration of end-users, and constant monitoring of the endemic areas. To reinforce mechanism to control illegal mining, the State Governments were advised to:-

arrow Set up State Coordination-cum-Empowered Committee (SCEC) to coordinate efforts to control illegal mining by including representatives of Railways, Customs and Port authorities. Ten State Governments have set up a Coordination-cum-Empowered Committee. Twenty one States have set up Task Force at State and/or District level. 
   
arrow Frame State Mineral Policy on the basis of model Mineral Policy drafted by the Ministry of Mines and to adopt transparent concession grant policies to reduce scope for illegal mining. Eighteen States have framed Rules under Section 23C of the MMDR Act, 1957. 
   
arrow To adopt an Action Plan with specific measures to detect and control illegal mining including, use of remote sensing, control on traffic, gather market intelligence, registration of end-users and setting up of special cells etc. 


Mainly because of the proactive stance taken by the Central Government on the issue, the following developments have been reported:

Recently, the Government has constituted a Commission of Inquiry under Shri Justice M.B. Shah (retired Judge of Supreme Court of India) to inquire into the large-scale mining of iron ore and manganese without lawful authority in several States of the country.

The Commission is expected to submit its report within 18 months of its first sitting.

 
MINERAL CONCESSION AND TRANSPARENCY

The Ministry of Mines has issued guidelines on 24.06.2009, 9.2.2010, 3.6.2010, 27.7.2010, 13.10.2010 with a view to bring uniformity and for transparent processing of mineral concession proposals and also to clarify the provisions of Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act, 1957 and the Rules framed thereunder. 

The Ministry of Mines is using the internet services to bring about more accessibility and transparency in processing the mineral concession proposals recommended by the State Governments. The website of the Ministry (www.mines.nic.in) provides all information on the current status of the applications for mineral concessions.  These services are being further enhanced to track the process from approval for grant to execution of concession agreement.

The Ministry of Mines has constituted a Central Coordination-cum-Empowered Committee on 4.3.2009 to monitor and minimize delays in grant of approvals for mineral concessions.  The fourth meeting was held on 22nd December, 2010. All Ministries concerned, viz. Ministry of Environment & Forests, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Steel, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Shipping and Ministry of Finance and mineral-rich States participated in those meetings. 
Revision Applications and Disposal

Ensuing quick disposal of Revision Cases, the guidelines on processing of cases have been issued. The revision software has been developed for processing and disposal of revision applications filed by aggrieved parties under Section 30 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 against grant refusal of mineral concession.

Initiatives taken by Geological Survey of India (GSI)

arrow To meet the emerging challenges, GSI is constantly upgrading its technology, both in the field and laboratory equipments. In this direction, (i) new ocean going research Vessel (at a cost of Rs.549.00 crores), (ii) Heliborne Geophysical Survey System (at a cost of Rs.52.00 crores) and (iii) Geotechnical Vessel with shallow drilling capacity (at a cost of Rs.70.20 crores) are being procured. A detailed modernization plan has been prepared.
   
arrow GSI is now employing extensive use of Information Technology for information dissemination through its Portal for general public at large, and geoscientific community in particular. Information technology is being widely utilized for monitoring progress of field and project activities, accessing unpublished project reports, publications (Records, memoirs) DIDS, District Resource Maps, Geological Quadrangular Maps, case histories, photo-gallery etc.
   
arrow GSI has taken up several programmes at the instance of state government agencies, PSUs and other stakeholders either in collaboration or to carry out on its own. 

Restructuring of the Geological Survey of India

arrow Restructuring of GSI has gathered momentum and its five Missions and three Support Systems have integrated many dispersed wings into Regions, indicated improvement in HR position with higher rates of induction at JTS level. Improvement in quality in all processes, services and products through establishment of Quality Management Cell, framing of new Recruitment Rules to ameliorate career progression, firming up training and capacity building to organize training programmes for State, National and International candidates are new initiatives taken to name a few. 
   
An Implementation Committee has been set up to go into the details for implementation of HPC Report and for further follow up of its recommendations

National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO
   
arrow NALCO and the state owned Industrial Odisha Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) have launched a Joint Venture company on 30th July, 2010 to set up an aluminium park at Angul to set up an aluminium downstream and ancillary complex.
   
arrow Environmental clearance for the Rs. 409 crore 4th stream Up-gradation project alumina refinery has been obtained from MoEF on 11th May, 2010 and consent to establish from Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) was received under Water & Air Act in June, 2010.
   
arrow The 120 MW unit #10 of captive power plant has been synchronized with coal on 27th August, 2010. With the commissioning of unit #10, the capacity of CPP has been augmented to 1200 MW (10X120MW).
   
arrow For the on-going Rs 280 crore, 2 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) Utkal-E coal block project, approval of Govt of Orissa for Forest Dweller Certificate under provision of Section 6(5) of the ST & Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 for forest clearance of Utkal-E coal mine project was issued on 25.06.2010, permission for drawal of water from Singharajhor for was received from Water Resource Department, Govt. of Orissa in June, 2010 and 7(1) notification for private land acquisition of 5 villages was issued in August, 2010.
   
arrow For taking up CSR activities in a focused manner with higher annual contribution from the Company, NALCO Foundation was registered under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 in July, 2010.
   
arrow Bauxite Mines achieved the record performance of highest ever production since inception from existing facility with transportation of 48.79 lakh MT against previous best of 48.54 lakh MT (2005-06) with capacity utilization of 101.64% despite production loss of 30 shifts (15 days) on account of Naxal attack and shutdown of 31 shifts (15.5 days) due to drive rope replacement. The plant exceeded the rated capacity after a gap of 3 years.
   
arrow Alumina refinery achieved the record performance of highest ever production since inception from existing facility with alumina hydrate production of 15.915 lakh MT against previous best of 15.90 lakh MT (2005-06) with capacity utilization of 101.05%.
   
HINDUSTAN COPPER LIMITED (HCL)
   
arrow HCL has paid an interim dividend of 10% amounting to Rs. 46.26 crore on the paid-up capital of Rs. 462.61 crore on the 99.59% equity held by the Government of India in the company for the financial year 2010-11.
   
arrow The Cabinet committee in its meeting held on 15.06.10 has approved the disinvestment of 10% paid up equity capital of HCL out of Govt. of India’s shareholding along with issue of fresh equity of equal size (10%) by the Company in the domestic market.
   
arrow For improving power factor, Automatic Power Factor correction has been commissioned at ICC (Ghatshila, Jharkhnad) in September’10.
   
arrow HCL has allocated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) budget of Rs.40 Lakhs each for ICC and KCC, and Rs. 66 Lakhs for MCP for FY 2010-2011.
   

MINERAL EXPLORATION CORPORATION LIMITED (MECL)

arrow Proposal for exploration of high magnesium flux in Rajbasa block, Sundargarh District, Orissa at an estimated cost of ` 110.53 lakhs has been approved on 2.12.2010.
   
arrow Proposal for exploration of lead-zinc mineralization in Tikhi extension South block, Sawar Metasedimentary belt, district Ajmer, Rajasthan at an estimated cost of ` 239.76 lakhs has been approved on 2.12.2010
   
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION (IC)

With a view to enhance cooperation between the two countries, the Ministry of Mines and the Department of Natural Resources, Canada (NRCan) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources on 27th June, 2010, during the visit of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to Canada. 

Keeping in view the potential of  Ontario Province of Canada, the Ministry of Mines signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry (MNDMF), Ontario Province, Canada, for cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources on 8th July, 2010.

To enhance cooperation with the African countries envisaged in the India Africa Forum Summit held in April, 2008, the Ministry of Mines and the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy of the Republic of Mozambique have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on 30th September, 2010, and with the Ministry of Natural Resources Energy and Environment  Republic of Malawi on 3rd November, 2010 for cooperation in the field of Mineral Resources and geology .

To enhance cooperation with the mineral rich Mongolia a Joint Working Group (JWG) on Geology, Mines and Minerals between India and Mongolia was set up and the first meeting was held on 7-9 June, 2010 at Ulaanbaatar. 

The Ministry of Mines and Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) organised an interactive session on ‘Investment opportunities in the Mining & Energy Sectors through Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX)’ on 29th October, 2010, a New Delhi.  

 
 
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