Lok Sabha passes bill to amend mines and minerals act

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New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed a bill to amend the mines and minerals act to allow transfer of captive mining leases not granted through auction.

Transfer of captive mining leases, not granted through auction, would allow mergers and acquisitions of companies and facilitate ease of doing business for companies to improve profitability, Mines and Steel Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said moving the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016 for passage.

He said the government had got representations to allow transfer of captive mining leases not granted through auction.

The transfer provisions will also facilitate banks and financial institutions to liquidate stressed assets where a company or its captive mining lease is mortgaged, he added.

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The cabinet had last week given its approval to the amendment.

The mines ministry had sought views from the public, states and industry on suitably amending the MMDR Act.

The MMDR Act, passed by parliament last year, only allows transfer of mining leases in cases where the mine has been acquired through auction.

Tomar informed the Lok Sabha that within a year of the Act, 43 mines had been notified for auction, while another 42 would be notified for auctions in the second phase.

Reiterating that it would be the states only who would be responsible for transfer of mining leases, he said: “Till now 6 mines have been auctioned in three states, for which they have received royalty payment of Rs.18,146 crore.”

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