New Delhi: The Mines Ministry Wednesday said it will circulate by the end of this week the Cabinet note on the new mines bill, which provides for sharing of profits and royalty with the project-affected people (PAPs).
"It will be circulated by the end of this week. We have got the Group of Ministers approval, we have got it vetted legally and now we are ready to place it before the Cabinet," Mines Secretary S Vijay Kumar told PTI.
When asked whether the draft law will be tabled in the current session of Parliament, he said, "The way we are situated, the window of opportunity to go and introduce the bill in Parliament is still open".
In July, the ministerial panel, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, had approved the draft bill, which provides 26 percent profit-sharing with displaced people by coal mining companies.
For the non-coal miners, the new law will provide for payment to the displaced an amount equivalent to royalty paid to the state government.
The draft Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation (MMDR) Bill, 2011, seeks to replace more than half-a-century old law under the same name.
The draft bill also proposes to set up a district development fund, where the money accumulated from the 26 percent profit sharing by coal miners and an amount equivalent to 100 percent of royalty for non-coal miners, will be deposited and will get spent on local population and area development, the draft bill has proposed.
Apart from compensating the displaced people through profit-sharing and royalty, the draft bill also says that the mining firms will have to bear a combined cess up to 12.5 percent on the royalty paid to states and the Centre, as per the new mining bill.
This includes 10 percent cess to state governments on the royalty payment, while 2.5 percent levy will be charged by the Centre as cess.
However, industry chambers like Ficci and Assocham have opposed the draft bill, saying that it would make India most-taxable country for the miners.
Seeking a revision of the draft proposals, Ficci in its representation to the Prime Minister had said that new proposals would lead to such a situation, where total payable tax on coal would be at over 61 percent, making the industry unattractive.
It has also projected that taxes on iron ore mining would be around 55 percent, while for bauxite, it would zoom to 110 percent.
However, the Mines Secretary ruled out any further changes in the draft act, before placing it to the Cabinet.
First Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 21:39