GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Important Government Policies.
The Union Cabinet has approved amendments to the Second Schedule of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 for specifying the rate of royalty in respect of Glauconite, Potash, Emerald, Platinum Group of Metals (PGM), Andalusite, Sillimanite and Molybdenum.
The approval would ensure auction of mineral blocks in respect of Glauconite, Potash, Emerald, Platinum Group of metals, Andalusite and Molybdenum for the first time in the country.
Did you know?
- Minerals like Glauconite and Potash are used as fertilizer in agriculture.
- Platinum Group of Metals (PGM) are high value metal used in various industries and new innovative applications.
- Minerals like Andalusite, molybdenum are vital minerals used in industrial applications.
Implications of the move:
- Encouraging indigenous mining of these minerals is in the National interest that would lead to a reduction in imports in potash fertilizers and other minerals.
- This step taken by the Ministry of Mines is also expected to increase the generation of employment in the mining sector.
- It will also ensure increased availability of minerals for the downstream industries and support agriculture.
- The approval will lead to import substitution in respect of many important minerals for the economy of the country thereby saving valuable forex reserves. It will reduce the country’s foreign dependency through the local production of minerals.
The Act was amended in 2015 to usher in a new regime of granting mineral concessions through auction to ensure transparency and non-discrimination in the allocation of the mineral wealth of the country. The auction regime has matured since then.
To give further impetus to the mineral sector, the Act has been further amended in 2021. Under the reforms, the Government has given a major boost to the auction of mineral blocks, increasing production, improving ease of doing business in the country and increasing the contribution of mineral production to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Know more about MMDR Amendment Bill, 2021, here.
Constitutional Provision Related to Mining:
The entry at serial No. 23 of List II (State List) to the Constitution of India mandates the state government to own the minerals located within their boundaries,
The entry at serial No. 54 of List I (Central List) mandates the central government to own the minerals within the exclusive economic zone of India (EEZ).
- In pursuance to this Mines & Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act of 1957 was framed.
The central government has the ownership over all offshore minerals (ie, minerals extracted from the sea or ocean floor in the Indian maritime zones such as the territorial waters, continental shelf and exclusive economic zones).
- What are major and minor minerals?
- How they are regulated?
- Who grants permissions?
Write a note on Mines and Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
Sources: the Hindu.