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Government to introduce mining bill next parliament session


New Delhi: Seeking to attract investment and technology for the mining sector, the cabinet Friday approved a draft bill for development and regulation of mines and minerals in the country.

Chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the cabinet gave its nod to the draft legislation proposed by the ministry of mines. It aims to introduce better legislative environment through its National Mineral Policy and repeal existing mining laws.

“The new bill, called Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Bill, 2011, will most likely be introduced in the coming winter session of parliament,” Mines Minister Dinsha Patel told reporters while explaining the cabinet decision.

“The new law would be implemented immediately after receiving parliamentary approval and the president’s assent,” he added.

The cabinet note prepared in this regard stated that the bill would help in developing the country’s mining sector to its full potential so as to put the nation’s minerals resources to best use for national economic growth, and ensure raw materials security in the long term national interest.

The act also proposes financial implications for creating an independent National Mining Tribunal and National Mining Regulatory Authority at the central level. The government will also set up an Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) and the funds for this will be met through a cess of 2.5 percent on the basis of customs and excise duties.

“The government will generate Rs.8,500 crore as royalty in the funds which will be used for funding developmental works in underdeveloped districts, as a counter-measure for Naxal activity,” the minister said.