Mines – The Natural Resources Wealth of Indians is in the hands of few Politicians and Mafia Dons. In order to curb il-legal mining, the center has proposed a new bill Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2010 headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. [ This could be a complete eye wash for innocent Indians as il-legal mining is across all Political Parties across the nation]
Some important provisions in the Bill, especially those relating to sharing of 26% equity/profits, are vaguely drafted. Read verbatim, the repercussions of the Bill on mining sector investments will likely be far-reaching and the final form may be very different from the draft; but we are unable to assess the impact on our coverage universe before clarifications are issued on exact applicability and implementation of the said Bill.
We seek Clarification from the Government on the following issues,
Section 42 (2) requires the holder of a mining lease to allot 26% equity/profit to persons holding occupation or usufruct or traditional right of surface of land.
If the provision is applicable to companies operating existing mines, will it be applied retrospectively on historical profits, or just profits earned after the commencement of the Act? How will the profits eligible for sharing be calculated? Give Details.
According to explanation (a) to section 42 of the Bill, the State Government through Gram Sabha or District Council or Panchayat will identify families affected by mining operations and ensure benefits are given to such identified families.
For companies operating mines over a long period of time (say, 50 years), how will the authorities determine the families that were impacted by the mining activities in the past? For new mines, how will the authorities determine an equitable way of distributing those profits to the people impacted by the mining activities? Will it lead to litigation, thereby delaying the project further?
God Bless India 🙂