National mineral policy gets Union Cabinet approval

National mineral policy gets Union Cabinet approval

Agency News

New Delhi, Feb 28 : The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the National Mineral Policy, 2019, aimed to ensure more effective regulation, leading to sustainable mining sector development in future, while addressing the issues of project-affected persons, especially those residing in tribal areas, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

The aim of National Mineral Policy, 2019 is to have a more effective, meaningful and implementable policy that brings in further transparency, better regulation and enforcement, balanced social and economic growth, as well as sustainable mining practices.

The policy includes provisions, which will boost the mining sector, such as introduction of the Right of First Refusal for RP/PL holders, encouraging the private sector to take up exploration,auctioning in virgin areas for composite RP cum PL cum ML on revenue share basis, encouragement of merger and acquisition of mining entities and transfer of mining leases and creation of dedicated mineral corridors to boost private sector mining areas.

It proposes to grant status of industry to mining activity to boost financing of mining for private sector and for acquisitions of mineral assets in other countries by private sector.

It also mentions that Long term import export policy for mineral will help private sector in better planning and stability in business.

The policy also mentions rationalize reserved areas given to PSUs which have not been used and to put these areas to auction, which will give more opportunity to private sector for participation.

It also mentions to make efforts to harmonise taxes, levies and royalty with world benchmarks, to help private sector.

Among the changes introduced in the National Mineral Policy, 2019 include the focus on make in India initiative and Gender sensitivity in terms of the vision.

In so far as the regulation in Minerals is concerned, E-Governance, IT enabled systems, awareness and Information campaigns have been incorporated.

Regarding the role of state in mineral development online public portal with provision for generating triggers at higher level in the event of delay of clearances has been put in place.

NMP, 2019 aims to attract private investment through incentives while the efforts would be made to maintain a database of mineral resources and tenements under mining tenement systems.

The new policy focusses on use coastal waterways and inland shipping for evacuation and transportation of minerals and encourages dedicated mineral corridors to facilitate the transportation of minerals.

The utilization of the district mineral fund for equitable development of project affected persons and areas.

NMP 2019 proposes a long term export import policy for the mineral sector to provide stability and as an incentive for investing in large scale commercial mining activity.

The 2019 Policy also introduces the concept of Inter-Generational Equity that deals with the well-being not only of the present generation but also of the generations to come and also proposes to constitute an inter-ministerial body to institutionalize the mechanism for ensuring sustainable development in mining.

National Mineral Policy 2019 replaces the extant policy of 2008. The impetus to review NMP 2008 came about by way of a direction from the Supreme Court vide its judgment dated 02.08.2017 in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 114/2014 entitled Common Cause v/s Union of India & Others.

In compliance of the directions of the apex Court, the Ministry of Mines constituted a committee on 14.08.2017 under the chairmanship of Dr. K RajeswaraRao, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Mines to review NMP 2008. The Committee had members from Central Ministries/ Departments, State Governments, Industry Associations and Subordinate offices of Ministry of Mines.

The Committee also invited concerned NGOs and Institutional Bodies to take part in the deliberation of the Committee meetings. The Comments/suggestions from the stakeholders were also sought.

Based on the deliberations held at Committee meetings and stakeholders' comments/ suggestions, Committee Report was prepared and submitted to the Ministry of Mines.

The Ministry of Mines accepted the committee Report and invited the comments/ suggestions of the stakeholders as part of the PLCP process. Based on the received comments/ suggestions received in PLCP process and the comments/ suggestions from the Central Ministries/ Departments the Ministry of Mines finalised the National Mineral Policy, 2019.