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PMO vetting DMF guidelines; likely to notify this week

By Religare
|

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) is looking at the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) guidelines as well as the miners' contribution to it and the same are expected to be notified this week, said the media report.

In March, Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015, was passed by Parliament, paving the way for auction of major mineral-bearing mines. It also stipulates creation of a DMF for the interest and benefit of the persons and areas affected by mining-related operations.

 

"Mines Ministry has finalised the DMF guidelines and the contribution of the miners. It has been sent to the PMO for vetting. We expect the guidelines and the contribution to be notified this week or by September 15," a person in know of the development said.

This is designed to address a long-time grievance of civil society that people affected by mining are not cared for and with these funds, states will be able to address the issues of development in the districts where mining is taking place, he added.

According to the MMDR Act, the miners' contribution to DMF should not exceed one-third of the royalty rate for new concessions (through mines auction) and not exceed the royalty in respect of existing concessions.

On the miners contribution, a senior official said: "The government is likely to fix 10 per cent of the royalty for new mining leases and 30 per cent for the existing leases."

Last month, Mines Secretary Balvinder Kumar told PTI that auction of mines bearing minerals such as iron ore, bauxite, limestone, etc will start by October-November and the states are expected to put 82 mines on the block.

Besides in August itself, the government has notified the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET), which will look into the ways to encourage exploration of mines and minerals in the country.

First meeting of the NMET is expected this week and it will take decisions about the utilisation of funds. These funds will be levied with effect from January 12, 2015, Kumar said.

The Ministry will ask states to levy two per cent of royalty for the NMET and transfer the funds to the trust.

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.

According to sources, NMET can have funds to the tune of Rs 400-500 crore.

Story first published: Monday, September 7, 2015, 9:00 [IST]
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