New Delhi: Admitting that illegal mining is
"rampant", the Mines Ministry has blamed corruption as one of
the main reasons for the menace, which not only causes revenue
loss to the exchequer but also promotes lawlessness.
"Though Section 23C of MMDR Act, 1957, empowers the state
governments to frame rules to prevent illegal mining...make
such rules for preventing illegal mining, transportation &
storage of mineral, illegal mining is still rampant," the
Mines Ministry pointed out as areas of concern emerging during
the 11th Plan.
"The major causes of illegal mining are poor detection
and enforcement procedures...poor investigation & prosecution
mechanism, corruption, connivance and interference," it added.
Inefficient concession grant process, including delays
and inefficiencies in concession system, forest and other
clearances also contribute to illegal mining, it said.
The ministry has also found the root of illegal mining to
lack of awareness among those adversely affected, including
environmental consequence of unregulated mining, loss of state
revenue and promotion of lawlessness.
The ministry also raised concerns on "insufficient"
integration and coordination of sectoral policy which results
in suboptimal utilisation of the mines.
"Policies on beneficiation, value addition and end use to
ensure more efficient metal making and better management of
demand and supply at ore stage for the purpose are lacking,"
"There is no mechanism to plan the creation and
management of mining related infrastructure, including roads,
rail and ports. Investments are not taking place and
infrastructure costs are making operations less competitive,"
the ministry said.
The development of mining as a standalone industry and
incentivising and facilitating modernisation of the industry,
including mining equipment and provisioning of the requisite
numbers of well-trained mining engineers, geologists and
geo-informatists has not taken place, it said.