A mine lease holder who has acquired a mineral block for captive purposes will have the 'right of first refusal' at the time of its auction under the amended MMDR law, Parliament was informed today.
Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act, 1957, was amended through the MMDR Amendment Act, 2015, which came into force with effect from January 12, 2015, Mines Minister Piyush Goyal said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
As per clause (4) of section 8A inserted through the Amendment Act, a lease shall be put to auction on expiry of the lease period, he added.
Further clause (7) of the said section contemplates that any holder of a lease granted, where mineral is used for captive purpose, shall have the right of first refusal at the time of auction held for such lease after the expiry of the lease period," the minister informed the House.
The Ministry does not intend to amend the provisions of the MMDR Act in this regard, Goyal added.
He said that industry body Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) had raised the issue for extending the non-captive mining leases till March, 2030.
To a separate query, Goyal said that based on the information provided by state governments, environment clearances (EC) as well as forest clearances (FC) are pending in 69 cases each.
The grant of mining lease by the state government has to be done subject to the fulfilment of the conditions of the LoI/prior approval. The applicant shall obtain the requisite clearances which are stipulated in the conditions of the LoI or the previous approval.
"The Ministry of Mines is making efforts to expedite these requisite clearances under the provisions of their governing act and rules," he added.