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Amendment to Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 Approved

 

Mines and minerals Act UPSC: Relevance

  • GS 3: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors

 

Mines and Minerals in India: Context

  • Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Mines for amendment of Second Schedule of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 for specifying the rate of royalty in respect of some minerals.

 

Mines and minerals Act: Key points

  • The rate of royalty will be specified for Glauconite, Potash, Emerald, Platinum Group of Metals (PGM), Andalusite, Sillimanite and Molybdenum.
  • The approval would ensure auction of mineral blocks in respect of above stated minerals.

 

Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957: Benefits of the amendment

  • 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 country’s foreign dependency through the local production of minerals.
  • The amendment will also generate empowerment opportunity in the mining sector as well as manufacturing sector
  • The amendment will help in ensuring inclusive growth of a large section of the society.

 

Amendment to Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 Approved_3.1

 

Amendments to Mines and Minerals Act

  • The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015
  • The Mines and Minerals Act was amended in 2015 to usher in new regime of granting mineral concessions through auction to ensure transparency and non-discrimination in allocation of mineral wealth of the country.
  • To give further impetus to the mineral sector, the Act has been further amended in 2021.
    • Under the reforms, the Government has given major boost to auction of mineral blocks, increasing production, improving ease of doing business in the country and improving the contribution of minerals in the overall GDP.

 

Amendment to Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 Approved_4.1

 

Steps taken in the mines sector

  • Ministry of Mines has also taken steps for increasing exploration of minerals in the country, which has led to availability of more blocks for auction.
  • Exploration activities have increased not only for traditional minerals such as iron ore, bauxite, limestone but also for deep-seated minerals, fertilizer minerals, critical minerals and minerals which are imported.
  • Agencies like Geological Survey of India and Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd. have carried out exploration and handed over reports to the State Governments of several blocks of minerals which are hitherto not mined in the country.

 

Use of minerals

  • 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.

 

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