New Delhi: In a step towards ensuring raw material securityand seamless renewal of mining leases allocated to the Government companies, Ministry of Mines has amended the Minerals (Mining) by Government companies rules 2015. It has substituted “may, for reasons to be recorded” in rule 3, in sub-rule (2) and rule 4, in sub-rule (3) with “shall, for reasons to be recorded”.This implies that for all mining leases for minerals granted to Government companies, the State Government upon an application made to it in this regard by the Government company or corporation at least twelve months prior to the expiry of the mining lease, shallextend the period of the mining lease for further period of upto twenty years at a time.
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas &Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan had taken up this issue with Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines, Shri Pralhad Joshi. Soon after assuming charge, Minister Pradhan has taken up raw material security for the Indian steel sector on priority. In another recent order, SAIL has also been allowed to offload in a year up to a quantity equivalent to maximum 25% of total iron ore production in the previous year subject to clearance from the respective State Governments, where the mines are located.
As per provision of Section 8A(6) of Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act, 1957 (in short, MMDR Act, 1957), the lease of 31 working mines of iron ore are expiring on 31.03.2020. Recent orders passed by the Ministry of Mines are important steps towards ensuring raw material security for Indian steel industry and effective management of situation in wake of probable disruptions in March 2020. It will also ensure price stabilization of raw materials and will have positive effect on the secondary steel sector.
Lauding the amendment, Shri Pradhan said “It is an important step towards ensuring raw material security for steel PSUs. This will also ensure price stabilization of raw materials and will have positive effect on the secondary steel industry.We are committed to ensuring raw material security for the Indian steel industry”