The Parliament passed the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, with approval from both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha on 2nd August 2023. The Bill aims to encourage the private sector’s involvement in the exploration of critical and deep-seated minerals.
- It amends the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, which governs the mining sector.
- The Bill introduces exploration licenses specifically for deep-seated and critical minerals, which are difficult and expensive to explore, including gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead, nickel, cobalt, platinum group of minerals, and diamonds.
- The proposed exploration license is meant to incentivize and facilitate private sector participation in mineral exploration.
- The Bill removes six minerals from the list of 12 atomic minerals, which were previously reserved for government entities. Their exploration and mining will now be open to the private sector as well.
- The Bill empowers the Central Government to exclusively auction mining leases and composite licenses for certain critical minerals.
- Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi emphasized that the Bill is crucial for India to become the third-largest economy and reduce reliance on imports of precious and critical minerals.
- The Bill is seen as a game-changer for the mining sector and aims to bring more transparency to the industry.
Question: What is the main objective of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill?
A) To increase government control over the mining sector
B) To allow government entities exclusive rights for mining deep-seated minerals
C) To encourage private sector participation in the exploration of critical and deep-seated minerals
D) To remove atomic minerals from the list and limit exploration of minerals
Answer: C) To encourage private sector participation in the exploration of critical and deep-seated minerals.