GoI keen to implement MMDR ordinance to attract foreign investments
Sai Nikesh | The Dollar Business
The Government of India seems to be moving ahead in a pace towards the implementation of the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Amendment Ordinance, 2015, in all the States, with an aim to make the role of mining Ordinance vital in accomplishing Make in India policy. As a process, the Central Government on Wednesday, held a workshop in Odisha to explain the provisions of the MMDR Ordinance to the concerned department officials and stakeholders of the State. This one-day workshop was followed by the Centre’s decision on January 19, 2015, to hold a workshop in all States with officials of the State Governments and other stakeholders to explain the provisions of the Ordinance, which is aimed at allotment of mines through ‘auctioning route’. The session in Odisha that went on between Naresh Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Government of India and the concerned State department officials, private and public sector companies, primarily focused on the provisions of the Ordinance, the process for its implementation by the State government at all levels. It was told in the session that the MMDR ordinance would simplify the grant of mineral concessions and their easy transferability, which would result in drawing private investments in a bigger way. To this effect, all the concerned department officials were asked to expedite the identification of mineral blocks to make them available for auction and the State government was assured of full support from the Geological Survey of India and Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited. However, concerns were raised by the State Government on the provision of deemed extension for a period of fifteen years for captive users and five years for merchant miners. It was stated that such a provision has been kept in the Ordinance to ensure that supply of raw material to the manufacturing sector is not adversely affected during the transition period. According to the sources, the amendments to the law allows transfer of mining leases, the allocation of leases covering far larger areas-up to 100 sq km - than the existing average of 10 sq km and longer periods of up to 50 years. It is noteworthy here to mention that the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries, in representation to the Ministry, had earlier raised opposition to the government’s move saying, ‘no country has adopted the auction route for mineral development’, and added that the auctions will be viewed with suspicion, as these cannot accommodate frequent price fluctuations. However, the Government of India is keen in implementing the Ordinance in all the States with an aim to attract the foreign investments and the private players in order to boost the mining sector.
This article was published on January 29, 2015.