New Delhi: Trudging carefully with the mines bill, government will listen to views from those who desire to make oral presentations aimed at plugging gaps before bringing amendments to the existing law.
Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and senior officials will attend a consultative meeting tomorrow where stakeholders can present their views orally on the draft Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 2014.
The Mines Ministry last month posted on its website a draft copy of the Bill, that seeks to amend the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, while inviting comments and suggestions from the public.
Officials said that the slated interaction was an attempt to take stakeholders view for making the bill free from any dispute in future. Industry captains said it was a move in the right direction as it would help them convey their viewpoints face-to-face which would certainly have a greater bearing.
Mines Secretary Anup Pujari today heard a section of the "desirous" persons and is also scheduled to listen others tomorrow on the draft bill.
The draft amendment Bill seeks to introduce competitive bidding through the auction route for iron ore and other such minerals. It also focuses on attracting private investment and latest technology and eliminating delay in administration, so as to enable expeditious and optimum development of mineral resources of the country.
Some of the provisions in the Bill have received criticism from the industry. Miners' body Federation of Indian Mineral Industries has already written to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi that auctioning of mines as proposed in the draft Bill will sound the death knell of the mining industry.
Contending that the auction route was not pursued in any resource-rich country which follows the time-tested principle of first-cum-first-served, FIMI said no country in the world takes recourse to the route as it may result in cartelisation and monopolistic practices.
The auction route may also lead to selective mining while leaving low grade minerals in the ground, wastage of resources and inflate the cost of final product making it uncompetitive vis-a-vis imports, it added.