The Metal Corporation (Nationalization and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1976

The Metal Corporation (Nationalization and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act was enforced in the year 1976. A total of 25 sections divided into seven chapters are provided in this act.

The Metal Corporations of India limited started its journey as a public limited company in the year 1944.  It was the sole producer of zinc and lead. However, in the later years when India got independence, the utility for zinc is felt. Hence, the government decided to acquire it which led to the enactment of Metal Corporation of India (Acquisition of Undertaking) Act, 1966. However, lately it got repealed and subsequently a new Act came into existence namely the Metal Corporation (Nationalization and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1976.

The Act therefore was enforced for the acquisition of Undertakings of Metal Corporation by the Central Government especially in the areas of State of Rajasthan particularly the zawar area. The acquisition was done to exploit the resources in an optimum manner.

The Act is classified into seven chapters. The first one is the preliminary consisting of short title and commencement of the Act, the definitions of the terms which needs to be interpreted accordingly in the Act and the last section defines the term “undertaking”.

Chapter II consists of taking over of the management of the Undertaking of the Metal Corporation. Section 4 provides that the assets which were earlier vested in the Central Government through the Metal Corporation of India (Acquisition of Undertaking) Act, 1966 would now be re-transferred to the government. Section 5 provides for the appointment of any persons or the Government Company for the role of an administrator who would carry on the management of such undertaking of the metal corporation.  The administrator would also be informed about the powers and duties along with the instructions related to the court matters which would ease the work of the administrator which would indirectly help in the enhancement of the efficiency of the work.

Chapter III deals with acquisition of undertaking of the metal corporation.  Section 7 incorporates that the undertakings of the company would be transferred absolutely to the Central Government along with the right, title and interest of the company. The property included in the undertaking of the corporation would ipso facto be freed from the encumbrances of the property such as mortgage, lien and the like. Therefore, the property vested in the central government would not be claimed by any person. Section 8 as well provides that the property from the central government receives, in such a case, it would be deemed to be a lessee to the state government or to such other person from whom it received the property. However, the central government has the power to vest the property in the government company upon the fulfillment of conditions by such company. This would make the government company a lessee for such body of persons for whom the central government would have a lessee had the property vested in it.

Chapter IV specifies about the payment of amounts. Firstly the payment would be given to the market committee of the management who had been deprived of its undertaking by the central government and for which the government had given a sum of eleven lacs and thirty – nine thousand which would be given annually. Secondly, the Metal Corporation would be given a sum of rupees one crore and ninety – eight lacs for transferring the rights to the Central Government. Chapter V consists of one section which provides about the management of the undertaking of the metal corporation in regards to the government company that the management would be transferred to such company as has been earlier mentioned in section 9 of the Act which would further empower such metal corporation to do things in relation to undertaking.

Chapter VI has been devoted to the employees of the metal corporation whereby the provision of provident fund and other welfare activities is carried on for the employees.  Chapter VII deals with the miscellaneous provisions which provide that the Act would have an overriding effect over other Acts.  It also deals with the power to make rules and the penalties imposed upon any individual and also list out the offences which are done by the Company.  Therefore, the Act achieved its primary purpose of exploiting zinc and lead by re-vesting it in the Central Government.

by Neha Dayal