Mining royalty in Plan size

Mining royalty in Plan size

The Planning Commission has accepted in principle a suggestion in this regard from the Union Ministry of Mines. The ministry wants state governments to collect royalty fully without leaving any loopholes.

Santha Sheela Nair, Secretary, Ministry of Mines, told Deccan Herald that in August royalty accruing to states from minerals, including iron ore, was enhanced considerably by bringing it to the ad valorem level.

“Now, royalty from almost all minerals has nearly doubled, and we expect the states to collect royalty properly.Hence, we have suggested to the Plan panel to make revenue from royalty collection as one of the criteria to determine the Plan size. The panel has agreed to our suggestion.”

Nair added: “The states cannot complain that they get less royalty. On the contrary, royalty now makes a huge impact on their overall revenue.” He said the ministry was also planning an additional role for the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM)—that of a regulator for the industry. “This will be a huge role for IBM,” the official added.

Now, the mining industry has no regulator. However, a mining regulator, if set up, will not be an independent unit as IBM is a government-owned body.

Providing for a regulator comes under the new initiatives drawn up by the ministry as part of amendments to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act. “There are issues under litigation in the mining sector which need clarification.

“A regulator is lacking in the present law, and in the new law we will provide an adjudicatory response mechanism,” Nair added.

IBM is currently engaged in promotion of conservation and scientific development of mineral resources and protection of environment in mines. Its other functions include inspection of mines, geological studies, scrutiny of mining plans and mining schemes, conducting environmental studies and preparation of mineral maps.

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