New Delhi, 28 January 2015: The Union Minister of Steel and Mines Narendra Singh Tomar today chaired a meeting of senior officials of Mines Ministry to review the progress of several actionables under the newly passed Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 (MMDR Ordinance 2015). This meeting was organised close on the heels of the January 19 meeting of state representatives on MMDR Ordinance, so as to firm up timelines for implementation of the Ordinance. The meeting was a follow-up of the meeting held on January 12 on the same issue. Emphasising the urgent need to revive mining in India, Tomar said, “Our priority is not just to table the draft bill in next session of Parliament, but to start auctioning of mines in the least possible time.” The Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Dr. Anup K Pujari, Additional Secretary (Mines) R Sridharan and other senior officials of the Mines Ministry were also present in this internal review meeting.
The meeting witnessed detailed discussion on several points under the Ordinance, which included, inter-alia, the mechanism to determine mineralisation, scheme for District Mineral Foundation and National Mineral Exploration Trust, system for certification and monitoring of mining plans, differential area limits for different minerals, terms and conditions for granting non-exclusive reconnaissance permit, rules for transfer, rules and procedure for auction, finalisation of terms of reference, framing of standard templates, and updation of feasibility and geological reports. Timeline for each activity was duly delineated to speed up the process and meet with the Minister’s aim of beginning the auctions in the shortest possible time.
Officials of Mines Ministry and representatives of Mining Exploration Corporation Limited shared their own insights and reviews on the Ordinance as received from stakeholders. Tomar exhorted participants to incorporate improvements in the draft bill, and to strictly follow timelines emerging from the meeting.