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Form panel to expedite mining lease disposal: Centre to states

Centre Has Asked 12 Mineral-rich States To Set Up State-level Committees On An Urgent Basis To Facilitate Disposal Of More Than 100 Cases Where Some Permits Were Granted Before The MMDR Act Took Effect.

PTI | Updated on: 03 Jul 2016, 12:08:21 PM

New Delhi :

Centre has asked 12 mineral-rich states to set up state-level committees on an urgent basis to facilitate disposal of more than 100 cases where some permits were granted before the MMDR Act took effect.

The development follows delays in such disposal of cases where prospecting licences or reconnaissance permits were issued before commencement of Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015, which came into force from January 12, 2015.

“A committee should be constituted for each state... to thoroughly scrutinise saved proposals before sending them to the Ministry of Mines... All governments are requested to constitute a committee at the state level,” the Ministry of Mines has said in a letter to secretaries in charge of mining and geology.

While the MMDR Act provided that all applications for grant of mineral concessions became “ineligible” on January 12, the day the Act kicked in, it exempted cases where a reconnaissance permit or prospecting licence has been granted for any land for mining.

It provided that the licensee or permit holder will have right for getting a mining lease, as the case may be.

A reconnaissance permit allows preliminary prospecting of mineral through regional, aerial, geophysical, geochemical surveys and geological mapping.

“The Ministry of Mines has been emphasising on the need for expeditious processing and disposal of mineral concession proposals sent by state governments for seeking previous approval of the central government under the proviso of amended section 10 A (2) of the MMDR Act,” the letter sent to the states said.

The letter added that in a number of pending cases, information or documents submitted along with the proposals were insufficient, which made the task of processing difficult for the ministry.

Given the circumstances, the ministry felt that seeking necessary clarifications and documents from states and then technical comments from bodies like GSI and IBM will be time-consuming. To avoid delays in disposal of cases, it has been decided that state-level committees will thoroughly vet such cases before forwarding the same to the Centre.

The committees will comprise members from state mining and geology departments, besides the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) and the Geological Survey of India (GSI).

Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra account for 112 such pending cases.

The highest tally of 44 comes from Maharashtra, followed by Rajasthan (38), Madhya Pradesh (22) and Andhra Pradesh (8).

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First Published : 03 Jul 2016, 12:04:00 PM

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12 Mineral-rich States