New Delhi: A bill to allow transfer of captive mines from one allottee to another without auction was passed by Parliament on Monday, a move that will enable banks and financial institutions to sell stressed assets to recover debts.
Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said in Rajya Sabha that the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016 is in the larger interest of workers and that the provision was not intended to benefit any industrial house.
The bill was later approved by the House. Lok Sabha had passed the bill on 16 March.
The legislation allows mergers and acquisitions worth billions of dollars in the domestic market as the provision of non-transfer of concessions granted otherwise (rpt) otherwise through auction was coming in the way of banks and financial institutions to liquidate stressed assets where a company or its captive mining lease is mortgaged.
Tomar said the Centre is committed for transparency in mines allotment and transfer provision was in the larger interest of workers and was not "intended to benefit industrial houses".
"I assure you that transfer of captive mine will be only for captive purpose and not for any industrial purpose," he said and added that this will benefit workers and will save factories from closure where the original allottee of a mine was not in a position to run it.
"Labourers will be rendered unemployed in case any industry is sick and not transferred. Economcy will be hit," Tomar said replying to a debate on the bill.
He said mining sector was facing severe challenges when the NDA government took over in May 2014 and activities in the sector were virutally "halted" and Supreme Court and Justice Shah Commission were looking into it.
The MMDR Act was passed in 2015 and that resulted in transparency in allocation with neither the Centre nor the states having any special priviliges for allotment of mines, he said.
Tomar said auction notices for 43 mines were out, of which auctioning for six was already done in three states and revenue of Rs 18,946 crore was generated.
He said government was committed for the welfare of those affected by mines and there is provision of Disrict Mineral Foundation where so far Rs 6,000 crore has been deposited in the mines-rich states.
Updated Date: May 02, 2016 22:57 PM