The mines ministry had recently sought suggestions from the general public, mining industry and other stakeholders on the proposed reforms in the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.
"There is no proposal to make illegal mining as legal....Ministry of Mines had circulated the proposed reforms in the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act, 1957 with different Central Government Ministries /Departments and also to the State Government for comments/ suggestions," the mines ministry said in a statement.
"Further, in order to give wide publicity to the proposed reforms, as per pre-legislative consultation policy, the ministry hosted the notice dated August 24, 2020 along with a note explaining the provisions of proposals on the website of the Ministry of Mines for seeking comments/ suggestions...," the statement said.
A large number of comments/suggestions on the proposed reforms have been received by the ministry in response to public consultation notice, which are being examined in detail, it added.
Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme, the Centre had in May announced enhancing private investments in the mineral sector and bringing in other reform measures.
In order to implement the announcements, the Ministry of Mines has proposed legislative amendments to the MMDR Act, 1957 for undertaking structural reforms in mineral sector with the objective of accelerating growth and employment generation.
The proposals include increasing mineral production and employment generation by redefining the norms of exploration for auction of mineral blocks and ensuring seamless transition from exploration to production.
They also include resolving legacy issues to move towards an auction only regime for allocation of mineral resources, removing the distinction between captive and non-captive mines, developing a transparent National Mineral Index and clarifying the definition of illegal mining, among others.
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