The Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation (MMDR) Bill, 2011 approved by the Union Cabinet on Friday aims to ensure transparency, equity, elimination of discretion, effective redress and regulatory mechanisms along with incentives encouraging good mining practices, which will lead to technology absorption and exploitation of deep seated minerals.

The menace of illegal mining in Karnataka and Goa continues unabated despite strong outrage against it. As many as 82,000 cases were reported in 2010 and about 25,000 cases in the first three months of this year, government data shows.

According to Union Minister of State for Mines Dinsha Patel, the additional outgo for the non-coal miners after the passage of the new legislation would be around Rs.4,500 crore. As per the industry estimates, Coal India Limited (CIL) alone may have shell out about Rs.1,000 crore a year for the proposed fund.

“All coal mining companies have to share 26 per cent of their profits,'' Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told journalists. The Bill is also seen as a move by the UPA government to expand its social programmes to the huge tribal belts of the country and generate funds for local development in such areas

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