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Draft proposal for new National Mineral Policy soon

Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on January 08, 2018 Published on October 15, 2017

Proposals to centre around framework for mineral exploration in the country

Industry concerns not likely to be addressed

The draft for the new National Mineral Policy is likely to be ready in the coming days, officials close to the development said. The new policy will be an update on the National Mineral Policy of 2008 and is in line with the Supreme Court’s directive to devise a fresh version by 2017-end.

An official present in Friday’s meeting of the KR Rao Committee told BusinessLine: “There has been consensus in the committee regarding the new National Mineral Policy, 2017. The policy will be put up for comments shortly and will focus on the direction that mineral exploration is expected to take in the country.”

“There will be additions to the old policy to incorporate a harsher view on illegal mining, and mandate conservation as well and environment protection,” another official present in the meeting said. This too will be in line with the Supreme Court’s directive but the broad contours of the policy are likely to remain the same, he added.

But industry worries regarding the tax incidence on mining, and apprehensions over the approach for awarding mining rights are not likely to be addressed here. “The National Mineral Policy is an overarching policy that provides the framework for mineral exploration in the country. Issues such as taxation and awarding contracts do not figure here,” according to an official in the know of the draft policy.

Demands

According to the minutes of the first meeting of the KR Rao Committee constituted to review the National Mineral Policy 2008, there were demands to lower tax incidence on mining and allowing ‘junior’ companies to sell their data. Another demand that came from the industry was to “provide for direct allocation of mining lease to companies who have either set up a plant or who propose to make mega investments.”

“There was also a proposal to increase the tenure of leasehold to 90 years from the present provision of 50 years. This would be through allowing two extensions of 20 years each after the 50 year period lapses,” a mining industry representative said.

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Published on October 15, 2017
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