India May Tighten Mining Act To Bar Non-Serious Bidders From Future Auctions
A bulldozer moves coal at a coal mine in Colombia .(Photographer: Nicolo Filippo Rosso/Bloomberg)

India May Tighten Mining Act To Bar Non-Serious Bidders From Future Auctions


Union minister Pralhad Joshi on Wednesday said the Centre is contemplating stringent provision in the Mining Act so that non-serious players are terminated and barred from the auction of mines in the future.

While addressing the 15th edition of Global Mining Summit and International Mining & Machinery Exhibition, coal and mines minister Joshi said that recently Odisha has completed the successful auction of large number of iron ore mines.

However, some of the successful bidders are trying to evade the process of auctions by delaying the production, he informed.

"Such cases will be dealt seriously, and in coordination with the state government, we are contemplating to bring stringent provision in the Act so that non-serious players are terminated and barred from future auctions," the minister said.

He said that March was a significant month during which leases of large number of working mines expired and they had to be auctioned immediately.

Also read: Commercial Coal Mining: 19 Auctioned Blocks To Generate Rs 7,000 Crore Annual Revenue

The government took a proactive and biggest industry-friendly step of transferring all statutory clearances to the new lessees by promulgating an ordinance.

This was a major step to ensure seamless production of raw materials and the results of this particular reform have been encouraging, he added.

The Centre, he said, is coming up with many structural reforms in the mining sector to realise its true potential.

"The proposed structural changes in the mining sector aim to increase participation of the private sector in mineral exploration, redefine the norms of exploration for auction of mineral blocks to ensure a seamless transition from exploration to production," he said.

"They will also redefine the standard of exploration required for auctioning of blocks for prospecting licence-cum mining lease and open acreage licensing policy for allocation of mining rights which will give a major boost to the production of minerals in the country," Joshi said.

The government, Joshi said, is fully committed to ensure that the auction of mineral resources of the country is a complete success and it generates revenue and employment for the state governments.

The mining industry is a core to India's growth ambition of $5 trillion. India is endowed with vast natural resources and the industry has contributed in many ways to the country's economy like direct contribution to the GDP, indirect contribution through development of downstream industries and employment.

Also read: Two India Billionaires Win in Landmark Government Coal Auctions

In view of mining sector's interlinkages with industrial development, the government has also shifted its priorities in terms of availability of raw material, managing the country's economy and natural resources.

It is the government's priority to ensure that the regulatory environment is conducive to ease of doing business with simpler, transparent and time-bound procedures for doing business.

Elaborating upon the recent mining and coal sector reforms undertaken by the government, Joshi said that apart from generating jobs, reducing dependence on fuel import and stimulating the economic growth; the opening of the coal sector to private players will garner hefty capital investment in the country over next five to seven years.

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