E-auction likely for allotting all major minerals

E-auction likely for allotting  all major minerals

After adopting e-auction for allotment of coal mines to private companies, the NDA government is working on introducing similar policy for extraction of other major minerals like iron ore and manganese.

“The Mines Ministry is working on adopting uniform policy like e-auctioning of mines to allot mineral resources to private companies”, an official from the Ministry told Deccan Herald.

Union Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar already held meeting with several state chief ministers about introducing the technology based transparent system for allocating mineral deposits with strong regulatory frameworks. To enable it to adopt transparent system to allot natural resources, the Ministry is planning to introduce e-auction for mining deposits in the pending Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act. The government is planning to amend the MMDR bill in the winter session of the Parliament.

To end illegal mining and favouritism in allotting mines, the Centre has decided to introduce a transparent system to allocate natural resources, said the official.
With the states also having equal stake in major minerals, the ministry will include the states into the board before going ahead with implementation, the official said adding that the ministry will finalise soon whether to hold auction at state level or Centre level.

Though the states have rights over major minerals, it requires the Mines Ministry permission to grant sanction to excavate the ore. Following the cancellation of coal blocks by the Supreme Court, the Centre on Friday promulgated ordinance to pave the way to allot coal blocks to private companies through e-auction.

As per the Mines Ministry data, over 60,000 mineral concession applications are pending in various mineral rich states including Karnataka. Of the total applications, 42,861 were pending for mining leases, 19,891 for prospecting
licenses  and 643 for reconnaissance permits.

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