The present Amending Act being, The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 is enacted to further amend the provisions of the existing principal Act i.e. The Mines & Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. The present amending Act has received the assent from the honourable President of India on 6th day of May, 2016 and there are only four basic provisions in this Amending Act which are provided to bring two significant changes in the existing law.
When a Bill pursuant to this amending Act was drafted and tabled to Lok Sabha, the statements of Object and Reasons was making it clear that the Section 2A (6) of the existing Act providing that the transfer of mineral concessions should be allowed only for concessions which are granted through auction. It was pointed that the Central Government had received representations from industry associations stating that the said sub-section has caused difficulties which does not allow merger and acquisition of a company having captive leases. The Central Government has also received representations seeking clarification regarding areas for dumping of mining wastes in view of the observations made by the Supreme Court of India in the Writ Petitions. Thus, the need to provide transfer of captive mining leases granted otherwise than through auction for facilitating legitimate business transactions.
Thus, this Amending Act is defining the ‘leased area’ as the area which is specified in the mining lease within which mining operations can be undertaken and includes the non- mineralized area. Moreover, this Amending Act, secondly providing for the transfer of the mining leases, as per section 12A of the earlier Act. Earlier though the Existing Act providing for the transfer of mining leases, but this Amending Act providing that captive mining leases where the entire quantity of mineral extracted is used in the manufacturing unit owned by the lessee and which were granted otherwise than through auction, would be transferable. However, the prior approval from the State Government required and also payment of ‘transfer charges’ are to be done. As such, these amendments are really very important.
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