Mining companies have opposed the removal of some provisions of the mining law, saying that this will stoke the confidence of investors about the country’s mineral sector and cases will reach the courts. The government has removed these provisions to clear the way for the auction of 500 blocks. RK Sharma, general secretary of the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI), an organization of mining companies, said, “If section 10A (2) (b) of the mining law had not been removed, these 500 mines would have created additional employment opportunities.” ”
Sharma said that according to rough estimates, if 100 employees are taken in each mine in the initial phase, then 50,000 direct employment opportunities will be created from these 500 mines. The ratio of direct to indirect employment in the mining sector is 1:10. In such a situation, five lakh indirect employment opportunities will be created with 50,000 direct.
Under Section 10A (2) (B), reconnaissance permits (RP) or probable licenses (PL) are issued for mineral blocks, but mining leases are not granted. Sharma said that the removal of Section 10A (2) (B) will give a wrong signal to domestic as well as international investors regarding continuity in the country’s mineral policy.
Presenting blocks for auction against natural justice
FIMI said that it has been claimed that the removal of section 10A (2) (b) is a major improvement and that more than 500 mineral blocks will be available for auction. The government had implemented this section while revising the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 in 2015 and appreciated the contribution of reconnaissance permit holders. FIMI said that this section gives concessionaires the right to mine reserves and protect their interests.
Sharma said, “Removal of Section 10A (2) (B) by the government and presenting these blocks for auction is against natural justice. This will shock the growth of the domestic mining sector as well as affect the image of the country at the international level. ”The government issues three types of mineral concessions, reconnaissance permits, prospective licenses and mining leases to companies.