The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the new National Mineral Policy 2019 for sustainable development of the mining sector and supports the project affected persons. The new policy will replace the National Mineral Policy 2008.
Highlights of the National Mineral Policy :
- The new policy sees to effectively regulate the sector which is often mired in controversies especially in allocation of mining blocks and handling of persons affected by mining projects.
- The objective of the policy is to have an implementable policy that brings transparency, better enforcement and regulation in the sector and promote sustainable mining practices along with social and economic growth.
- The focus of the policy is on Make in India and incorporated Gender Sensitivity in the vision.
Policy Provisions :
- The policy introduced the right of first refusal for reconnaissance permit (RP) and Prospecting Licence (PL) holder.
- Encourages exploration by the private sector players.
- In virgin areas, auctioning on revenue share basis will be held for RL cum PL cum Mining Lease (ML).
- Mining entities are now allowed for merger and acquisition.
- To boost private sector mining areas, the policy allows for transfer of mining leads and dedicated mineral corridors will be created.
- Mining activity will be given the status of industry which will boost financing for private players.
- The policy allows for acquisition of mining assets in foreign countries by the private players.
- For better planning and stability in the business for private sector players, the policy mentions about the long term import export policy for minerals.
- The policy also mentions about reserved areas under the PSUs which have not been used will be put to auction for more participation of the private businesses.
- Taxes, levies and royalty will be benchmarked to the world for helping the private sector.
- The policy introduced a concept called the Inter-Generational Equity that ensures the well being of present as well as future generations. To institutionalise the concept, an inter-ministerial body will be set up to look into sustainable mining practices.
- For evacuation and transportation of minerals, the policy stresses on coastal and inland waterways. Also, dedicated mineral corridors will be set up for transportation of minerals.
- For project affected persons, the policy calls for effective utilisation of District Mineral Fund.
- For regulating the system, e-governance and IT enabled systems will be deployed. Also information and awareness campaigns regarding the sector will be conducted.
- The policy is promoting private investment in the mining sector in a big way.
- They bring efficiency in the mining with the usage of advanced technology, reduce wastage and increase revenue generation.
- The policy rightly addresses the issues of persons affected by mining projects which has been a major thorn in the development of the sector.
- A policy change was long overdue for the sector. The new policy will definitely lead to good growth of the sector. The only issue will be the proper implementation of the provision of the policies.