15 Nov 2021 Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
- The Government of India has allowed ‘captive mines to be sold in the open market up to 50% of their total annual production’.
- India has abundant reserves of mineral resources.
- India currently produces minerals of 95 types (including 4 hydrocarbon energy minerals 5 atomic minerals 10 metallic, 21 non-metallic and 55 minor minerals), but despite this huge mineral potential, India’s mining sector is still unclear and is underdeveloped. Due to which India is unable to make proper use of the abundant available mineral resources.
- India’s mining sector contributes only 1.75% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). India imports minerals worth about 2.5 lakh crore rupees.
- India has the fourth largest coal reserves in the world, but India imports 25% of its total aggregate demand from abroad.
Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957:
- The Act regulates the mining sector in India and lays down rules for obtaining and issuing mining leases for mining operations.
- In the context of the Union List (Entry 54) and State List (Entry 23) of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India, both the Central and State Governments are responsible for the management of mineral resources.
- Captive Mines – Under the Act of the year 1957, the Central Government can reserve any mine (except atomic mineral) for a particular end use while leasing it through auction process.
Profit from sale of minerals in the open market by captive mines:
- Transparency will increase as the state governments at times lacked transparency in the auction process conducted by the states to the person of their choice. Organizing the auction process by the Center will increase transparency.
- Production will increase. By which India’s energy security and other important needs can be met. By increasing the production of coal, India will be able to conserve energy security as well as foreign exchange.
- Ease of doing business will increase. Incorporation of new technology to boost production.
- To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the mining sector, state openness, fairness, better regulation, accountability, inclusive policy formulation, the interest of the local community, national needs and the level of trust among other stakeholders should be increased.