The government has notified the setting up of National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET), which will look into the ways to encourage exploration of mines and minerals in the country, reported PTI.
The trust will be headed by the minister of mines.
At present, mining exploration work is undertaken mainly by GSI, Mineral Exploration Corporation (MECL), Atomic Mineral Directorate of Exploration, Department of Atomic Energy and State Directorates of Mining.
The government has decided to include more entities in the exploration work such as NMDC, SAIL and MOIL, a move that will help India tap potential in this area more efficiently.
The objective of NMET is to use the funds accrued to the Trust for the purposes of regional and detailed exploration in such manner prescribed by the Central Government.
As per the NMET norms, the trust will have a governing council as its apex body that will have the Mines Minister as the Chairman.
There will also be an executive committee, headed by the union mines secretary, to look after the day-to-day functioning of the trust.
As per the government notification: "Governing body will lay down the broad policy framework for the functioning of the trust and review its working. Executive Committee shall manage, supervise and administer the trust and shall also monitor and review expenditure of the trust..."
Besides the mines minister, the governing body will have petroleum minister, coal minister, minister of state for mines, five state mines minister by rotation, union mines secretary and special invitees.
Executive Committee will comprise of a Joint Secretary level officers from the Department of Atomic Energy, Coal, Petroleum, Mines, Director General of Geological Survey of India, Controller General of Indian Bureau of Mines among others.
For funds, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015 says: "The holder of a mining lease or a prospecting licence-cum-mining lease shall pay to the Trust, a sum equivalent to two per cent of the royalty paid in terms of the Second Schedule, in such manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government.