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Minerals Concession (4th Amendment) Rules 2021 to usher next era of growth in Indian Mining sector: FICCI

Nov 03, 2021

NEW DELHI, 03 November 2021: The Union Government yesterday notified the Minerals (Other than Atomic and Hydrocarbon Energy Mineral) Concession [4th Amendment] Rules 2021, paving way for converting abundant mineral resources of the country into mineable reserves to boost the production and domestic supplies of various minerals for the end-use industries.

The initiative would support the mining & metals industry's contribution to the Hon'ble Prime Minister's vision of making India an Atmanirbhar Bharat. With the amended rules, the sector would not only contribute significantly to the Indian GDP but will also generate huge employment opportunities.

Applauding the Ministry of Mines for introducing the much-needed reforms in the sector, Mr Tuhin Mukherjee, Chair, FICCI Mining Committee and Manging Director, Essel Mining & Industries Ltd said that the Ministry has been constantly supporting the Indian Mining Industry with continuous reforms over the last 18 months. He further added, "I would like to commend the Ministry for effectively elucidating the statutory framework laid down by the MMDR Amendment Act 2021 and coming up with amendments to the Rules in quick time in consultation with all the stakeholders." He highlighted that these rules are latest in the series which support the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative as they will provide impetus to the growth of Indian Mining, both in the public and the private sector.

Highlighting on the significance of recent reforms for facilitating the growth momentum of mining sector, Mr Sumit Deb, Co-Chair, FICCI Mining Committee and CMD, National Mineral Development Corporation Ltd shared that the Concession Rules form the very backbone of our mineral administration and hence this notification is of immense importance for the mining sector in the country. "While we are certain that these Rules will open new opportunities for the sector, the sustainability and resource efficiency aspect has also been prioritized by facilitating use of overburden, waste rocks and beneficiation rejects in an effective manner with the involvement of State Governments. The optimisation of minimum lease area for various mineral concessions is also a positive step for promoting scientific and sustainable mining. The reforms would help in resource conservation with sustainable mining in a big manner," he added.

Mr Rahul Sharma, Co-Chair, FICCI Mining Committee and CEO (Aluminium Business), Vedanta Ltd said that increasing investments flow in the sector and augmenting exploration are crucial to enhance the sectoral contribution to the GDP and the employment. "Operationalising mineral supplies in the open market from Captive Mines is the highpoint of these Rules. This is bound to provide the much-needed support to the mineral based downstream industries which were facing raw material supplies shortage across several sectors. The industry would be benefitted by various measures like the calculation of estimated quantity of mineral resource and value of mineral resource even for areas with lower exploration, this would certainly help in bringing more mineral blocks for auction by the State Governments both for mining leases and composite licenses. This shall attract investments in the field of exploration especially for deep seated minerals like Copper, Zinc, Lithium etc. which will be crucial for future energy security of the nation. With these positive steps, we can expect the contribution of mining sector in the GDP of the country to reach an aspirational level of 10% in the foreseeable future," he added.

Mr Pankaj Satija, Co-Chair, FICCI Mining Committee and Chief Regulatory Affairs, Tata Steel Ltd said, "The government has taken many steps to support the Indian Mining sector especially during the pandemic. The continued focus on reforms and the addressal of a long pending request related to rationalising of high penal interest rate is a welcome move. The Mineral Concession Rules 2021 will further give fillip to the sector by providing for refund of unadjusted upfront payment collected for mining concession transfers."