The mining industry has welcomed reforms announced under the fourth tranche of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package.

The Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) has long been requesting the Government to allow seamlessness in the mining sector starting from reconnaissance to mining stages, in line with international best practices.

“We are glad that the Government has finally decided to grant Composite Exploration-cum-Mining-cum-Production Licence (CEMPL) to allow seamlessness in the sector. However, the finer details of the newly announced regime are to be seen. We look forward to working closely with the Government to ensure proper planning and implementation of the regime for growth of the mining sector in India,” FIMI said in a statement after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s address to announce the fourth tranche of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package to tackle COVID-19 induced economic slowdown.

This tranche focused on announcing structural reforms that will boost the infrastructure sector. But analysts point out that most reforms announced by the Finance Minister were either long overdue or have already been declared earlier.

“FIMI also appreciates that based on our long-standing request, the Government has decided to remove the distinction between captive and non-captive mines, which will lead to independent development of the mining sector in India,” the mining industry body said.

Other announcements

Sitharaman also announced Tariff Policy reforms to reign in on errant power distribution companies and define consumer rights. But the said Tariff policy has been in the works for a while and was long overdue,according to sector watchers.

Among the other reform , Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur said that power distribution companies in union territories will be privatised. This move follows the success in lowering distribution losses in cities like Delhi after privatisation.

“Power distribution in Union Territories to be privatised is an exciting step ahead. These are smaller and manageable entities. It will assist in generating private sector appetite amongst Indian and international investors,” said Sambitosh Mohapatra, Leader – Power and Utilities, PwC India.