National Mineral Policy 2019: The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 28, 2019, approved the National Mineral Policy 2019. The New National Mineral Policy 2019 will ensure more effective regulation and will lead to sustainable mining sector development in the future while addressing the issues of project affected persons especially those residing in the tribal areas. The main objective of this policy is to have more effective, meaningful and implementable policy that will bring in transparency, better regulation, and enforcement, balanced social and economic growth as well as sustainable mining practices.
National Mineral Policy 2019: Key Highlights
The National Mineral Policy 2019 includes provisions which will give boost to the mining sector:
- Introduction of Right of First Refusal for RP/PL holders.
- Encouraging the private sector to take up exploration.
- Encouragement of merger and acquisition of the mining entities.
- Transferring of mining leases and creation of dedicated mineral corridors to boost private sector mining areas.
- National Mineral Policy 2019 proposes to grant the status of industry to mining activity to boost the financing of mining for the private sector and for acquisitions of mineral assets in other countries by the private sector.
- It also mentions that the long term import-export policy for minerals will help the private sector in better planning and stability in business.
- The new policy also mentions rationalization of reserved areas given to PSUs which have not been used and to put these areas to auction, which will give more opportunity to the private sector for participation.
- It also mentions to make efforts to harmonize taxes, levies, and royalty with the world benchmarks to help the private sector.
National Mineral Policy 2019: Other Details
- National Mineral Policy 2019 will focus on Make in India initiative and gender sensitivity in terms of its vision.
- As far as the regulation in Minerals is concerned, E-Governance, IT-enabled systems, awareness campaigns have been incorporated.
- Besides, the role of the state in mineral development online public portal with provision for generating triggers at a higher level in the event of delay of clearances has been put in place.
National Mineral Policy 2019: Significance
- The National Mineral Policy 2019 aims to attract private investments through various incentives while the efforts would be made to maintain a database of mineral resources and tenements undermining tenement systems.
- The new policy would focus on the use of coastal waterways and inland shipping for evacuation and transportation of minerals and encourage mineral corridors to facilitate transportation of minerals.
- It proposes a long term export-import policy for the mineral sector to provide stability and as an incentive for investing in large scale mining activity.
- The policy also introduces the concept of Inter-Generational Equity that deals with the well-being of not just the present generation but also of the generations to come. It also proposes to constitute an inter-ministerial body to institutionalize the mechanism for ensuring sustainable development in the mining sector.
National Mineral Policy 2019: Background
- The National Mineral Policy 2019 replaces the National Mineral Policy 2008.
- The Ministry of Mines had constituted a committee on August 14, 2017, under the chairmanship of Dr. K Rajeswara Rao, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Mines to review the National Mineral Policy 2008.
- The Committee had members from central ministries and departments, state governments, industry associations and subordinate officers of the Ministry of Mines.
- The committee also invited concerned NGOs and institutional bodies to take part in the committee meetings. On the basis of deliberations at the committee meetings and stakeholders’ suggestions, a committee report was submitted to the Ministry of Mines.
- The Ministry of Mines accepted the committee report and invited the suggestions of the stakeholders as part of the PLCP process.
- Then, based on the suggestions received in the PLCP process and the suggestions from the central ministries, the Ministry of Mines finalised the National Mineral Policy 2019.