New Delhi, May 16 (PTI) The Centre on Saturday said it will rationalise stamp duty in mining sector, eliminate the difference between captive and non-captive mines, introduce seamless composite exploration-cum-mining-cum-production regime and auction 500 mining blocks.
The introduction of a seamless composite exploration-cum-mining-cum-production regime will bring many more mineral blocks into auction.
The blocks having potential for mineral production will be auctioned for composite licence wherein the successful bidder will complete the exploration and start production seamlessly, the government said.
Announcing the fourth tranche of the economic stimulus package, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, "We would also like to eliminate the difference between captive and non-captive mines."
The move, the government said, will allow transfer of mining leases and sale of surplus unused minerals, leading to better efficiency in mining and production.
Amendments will be made in the MMDR Act to remove the distinction between captive and non-captive mines.
Captive mines will be allowed to sell surplus unused minerals, leading to better efficiency in mining and production and better conservation of the minerals.
Ministry of Mines, the finance minister said, is in the process of developing mineral index for different minerals.
"Then the rationalisation of stamp duty which is payable at the time of award of mining leases is also happening," she said.
The government said that introduction of joint auction of bauxite and coal mineral blocks will enhance aluminum industry''s competitiveness.
"Bauxite and cheap power source are the basic requirement for aluminium industry. In order to ensure ready availability of these two resources, joint auction of bauxite and coal will be enabled," the government said.
It said that 500 mining blocks would be offered through an open and transparent auction process by amendments to Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act MMDR Act.
Transfer of mining leases will be allowed to ensure ease of doing business.
The structural reforms are announced by the Central government for the mineral sector to boost mineral production, employment generation and bring in state-of-the-art technology, especially in exploration of minerals, it said.
Welcoming the announcements, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi, in a tweet, said, "under PM @NarendraModi ji, the nation is transforming. FM @NSitharaman ji announced today structural reforms in Coal & Mining sectors to make India an #AatmaNirbharEconomy. These reforms will bring in investment & global best practices will generate huge employment opportunities."
Miners'' body FIMI said the government''s decision to grant composite exploration-cum-mining-cum-production licence (CEMPL) will allow seamlessness in the sector.
"FIMI has long been requesting the government to allow seamlessness in the mining sector starting from reconnaissance to mining stages, in line with international best practices...However, the finer details of the newly announced regime has to be seen," the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) said.
It also welcomed the government''s decision to rationalize the stamp duty in mining sector, saying that it will provide much needed relief to the highly taxed Indian mining sector.
"FIMI also appreciates that based on our long standing request, the government has decided to remove the distinction between captive and non-captive mines, which will lead to independent development of the mining sector in India," it said.
Vedanta Ltd also welcomed the announcements made by the finance minister.
"India is blessed with abundant reserves of coal, bauxite and other mineral resources, and these reforms will bolster India''s production of these critical resources. This shall ensure raw material security for the industry and give great impetus to India''s efforts towards self-reliance for an AtmaNirbhar Bharat," Ajay Kapur, CEO, aluminium and power business Vedanta said.
Elimination of distinction between captive mines and non-captive ones will ensure a level playing field for players in the integrated metals space, Saurabh Bhatnagar, Partner and National Leader, Metals & Mining, EY India said.
"All firms will now compete through measures of efficiency and deploying best practices for running a mining business. These were much needed reforms in the mining sector as India is a mineral rich country and any sectoral reforms to attract investments which adds to India''s GDP through this sector and save precious foreign exchange are welcome," he added.
Welcoming the government''s announcement, Debasish Mishra, Partner, Leader – Energy, Resources and Industrial Products, Deloitte India said that single licensing policy, removal of captive non-captive distinction, revenue sharing model and stamp duty rationalisation have been the demand of the industry for a long time.
"Similarly, aluminium industry has been asking for bauxite and coal combined license, which has been cleared now," he said.
Arvind Sharma, partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas said removal of distinction between captive and non-captive mines would mean that transfer of non-captive mines will be permitted subject to compliance with prescribed conditions.
This is a huge relaxation and will lead to increased mergers and acquisitions in mining sector, he said, adding that it will create new opportunities.
Niladri Bhattacharjee, partner - metals & mining, KPMG India said that in terms of novelty, one thing stands out, that is joint auction of coal and bauxite blocks. PTI SID RVK