A central authority empowered to regulate all activities related to mining – ranging from issuing of mining licenses to penalising violators – is proposed to be set up, said M. Veerappa Moily, Union Minister for Law and Justice.

Speaking on the sidelines of a seminar organised by the Legal and Human Rights Cell of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee here on Saturday, Mr. Moily said the issue was discussed at a meeting of the Group of Ministers set up to go into the proposed Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Bill, set up at the behest of the Prime Minister to solve the inter-ministerial differences over the Bill. Mr. Moily said that he could not say with certainty that the Bill would be tabled in the current Parliament session, because there were procedural aspects to be looked into.

The States were empowered to regulate mining, but they were was not cracking the whip on those indulging in irregularities, he added.