New Mines Bill to be tabled in Parliament in winter session
The Bill, earlier supposed to be tabled during the just concluded monsoon session, has not yet been placed before the Cabinet despite the fact that it was approved by a ministerial panel in July.
When asked, Mines Secretary S Vijay Kumar told media, "There is no delay. We have sent the Cabinet note on the draft bill to Cabinet Secretariat and other concerned ministries. It will soon come up before the Cabinet for approval".
He added that "the draft bill is now likely to be introduced in Parliament in its next session after the Cabinet approval".
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 are 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 tax on iron ore mining would be around 55 percent, while for bauxite, it would zoom to 110 percent.