New Delhi: At last, the Rajya Sabha has passed the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDRA) Amendment Bill, 2015 and the Coal Bill paving the way for mine auction and coal block allocation to be conducted in a transparent way. Prior to the move, the government had brought these bills as ordinances and the Lok Sabha gave its nod to the bills. According to the Constitution the Bill now goes to the President for his consent.
The Upper House also rejected the motion to send the MMDRA and Coal Bill again to the Parliamentary Select Committee. As usual, the Congress and the Lefts showed protest in the House. One of the key features of the bills is that a certain sum of the revenue generated from the mines will go to the local area for development.
The licences granted henceforth through auctioning will be valid for 50 years. Mine allocation will happen only through auctions and no mine allocation will be renewed after the licence expires.