Mining without licence likely to cost Rs 25,000

Mining without licence is likely to attract a penalty of up to Rs 25,000 per hectare.

New Delhi: Mining without licence is likely
to attract a penalty of up to Rs 25,000 per hectare or two
years imprisonment or both, and failure to implement mines
closure plans is likely to cost Rs 1,000 per day per hectare,
according to recommendation of a GoM.

The Group of Ministers (GOM) on mines in its recent
meeting also suggested a penalty of two years prison for
mining without licences.

Earlier, The mines ministry had proposed imprisonment for
three years for the same offence.

The GoM, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, was
formed to iron out inter-ministerial differences over new
mines legislation -- Mines and Mineral Development and
Regulation (MMDR) Bill.

"It was also agreed that while most of the provisions
were necessary, the penalty of imprisonment of three years for
exploration without licence may now be reduced to two years
and the fine for exploration without licence shall be up to Rs
25,000 per hectare, subject to maximum in case of PL
(prospecting licence) of Rs 15 lakh," the GoM recommended.

A Prospecting Licence (PL) is granted for undertaking
operations for purpose of exploring, locating or proving
mineral deposit.

On mine closure plan, the GoM in its final meeting,
according to an official document, recommended, "For
non-implementation of final mine closure plan the penalty will
be Rs 1,000 per day per hectare".

The Mines Ministry in the draft bill had recommended a
higher punishment -- "which may extend to Rs 10,000 per day
for the period of such default".

A mine closure plan encompasses rehabilitation process on
the area of mining, which includes measures like plantation to
minimise the impact of damage on environment due to mining.

The GoM was of the view that "the Bill adequately
provided for creation of mechanisms for investigation,
prosecution and trial of offences".


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