Coal, mines bill may clear Rajya Sabha hurdle
Two reforms legislations to introduce auction for allocation of minerals may clear the Rajya Sabha hurdle with majority in the two Select Committees that went into the Bills making no changes in them though some members have dissented.
New Delhi: Two reforms legislations to introduce auction for allocation of minerals may clear the Rajya Sabha hurdle with majority in the two Select Committees that went into the Bills making no changes in them though some members have dissented.
"The Committee recommends enactment of the legislation without any modification," said the 19-member Select Committee to examine the Coal Mines (Special Provision) Bill, 2015, headed by Anil Madhav Dave (BJP) in its report tabled in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Similarly, the Committee on Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015 also recommended no change in any of the clauses.
The two Bills, which have already been cleared by the Lok Sabha, are awaiting assent from the Upper House where the BJP-led NDA does not have adequate numbers.
But the fact that only some members of the Opposition including Congress, CPI-M and DMK have given dissent notes is perhaps an indication that other opposition parties including TMC, SP, BJD, AIADMK and BSP may not be strongly opposed to it unlike the Land Bill which many of them are dead set against.
Observers see the possibility of the two bills being passed by Rajya Sabha before Parliament breaks for recess on March 20. However, protectively the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) today decided to have two extra sittings on March 23 and 24, if necessary, for considering the the bills come back from Rajya Sabha with amendments.
The two bills seek to replace the Ordinances promulgated in December which would lapse if not enacted before April 5.
The report on the coal mines bill contained five dissenting notes from Digvijaya Singh (Cong), P Bhattacharya and Rajeev Shukla (all Cong), Tiruchi Siva (DMK) and K N Balagopal (CPI-M).
The report of the mines bill wanted the government to consider at a later stage issues like impact of mining activities on environment, rampant illegal mining, lack of proper and scientific mine closure, land acquisition and resettlement and capturing windfall profits for the welfare of local and tribal communities.
"The Committee, in view of limited ambit of amending Bill under its consideration, is of the opinion that these issues are of utmost significance that warrant serious consideration by the government.
"The Committee, therefore, recommends that the Ministry should consider these issues to be incorporated subsequently in the MMDR Act, 1957 at an appropriate stage as well as in the relevant rules/regulations required to be framed thereunder," it said.
Digvijaya Singh (Cong) gave a dissenting note on the panel not accepting his demand to incorporate issues of labour dues, forest rights of the tribals and forest dwellers and environment clearance in the Bill.
Soon after Bhupender Yadav (BJP) tabled the Report of the Select Committee on the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015 and Anil Madhav Dave (BJP) tabled the Report on the Select Committee on Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2015, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad rose to register his party's protest.
"We want to register our protest against the manner in which the two bills are being rushed for passage," he said.