New Delhi: The Steel & Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar addressing the media persons in a press conference in New Delhi today said that as soon as Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) amendment act is notified in about a week, the draft Rules will be circulated to the States and the new Act will result into Simplification of procedures and avoidance of delay in the mining sector. In respect of ten minerals in Part C of First Schedule, State Governments needed to obtain the prior approval of the Central Government before grant of mineral concessions. The Amendment removes the need for such “prior approval” from the Central Government, thereby making the process quicker and simpler. Similarly, approval of mining plan by the Government would no longer be mandatory as a proviso has been added under Section 5(2)(b) permitting the State Governments to devise a system for filing of a mining plan obviating need for prior approval by the Government.
On the question of the pend ency of applications for renewals, the Mines Minister said that to provide a transition to the new system, the Mining Leases would be deemed to be extended from the date of their last renewal up to 31st March, 2030 and till 31st March, 2020 or till the completion of the period of renewal already granted, if any, whichever is later. It is expected that this would immediately permit mines that have got closed due to want of decisions on their applications for second and subsequent renewals to start their operations, subject to the necessary clearances like forest and environment. The previous approval of the Central Government will not be required for grant of mineral concession except for Atomic Minerals and Enabling powers for reservation for the public sector are to continue in the Amended Act, Tomar said.