The Union Cabinet on Wednesday is learnt to have cleared fertiliser subsidy worth Rs 22,000 crore for the Rabi season, which runs from October 2023 till March 2024.
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the amendment of the Second Schedule to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act, 1957 for specifying the rate of royalty in respect of certain minerals.
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Mines for amendment of Second Schedule of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Act’) for specifying the rate of royalty in respect of Glauconite, Potash, Emerald, Platinum Group of Metals (PGM), Andalusite, Sillimanite and Molybdenum.
The approval would ensure auction of mineral blocks in respect of Glauconite, Potash, Emerald, Platinum Group of Metals, Andalusite and Molybdenum thereby reducing import of these minerals, generating empowerment opportunity in the mining sector as well as manufacturing sector which will help in ensuring inclusive growth of a large section of the society. The rate of royalty for Andalusite, Sillimanite and Kyanite which are mineral polymorphs are kept at the same level.
The approval will lead to import substitution in respect of many important
minerals for the economy of the country thereby saving valuable forex reserves. It will reduce the country’s foreign dependency through the local production of minerals.
The approval would ensure the auction of mineral blocks in respect of Glauconite, Potash, Emerald, Platinum Group of metals, Andalusite and Molybdenum for the first time in the country.
The Act was amended in 2015 to usher in a new regime of granting mineral
concessions through auction to ensure transparency and non-discrimination
in the allocation of the mineral wealth of the country. The auction regime has matured since then.
To give further impetus to the mineral sector, the Act has been further amended in 2021. Under the reforms, the Government has given a major boost to the auction of mineral blocks, increasing production, improving ease of doing business in the country and increasing the contribution of mineral production to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Ministry of Mines, led by the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat given by the Prime Minister, has also taken steps for increasing exploration of minerals in the country, which has led to the availability of more blocks for auction. Exploration activities have increased not only for traditional minerals such as iron ore, bauxite, limestone but also for deep-seated minerals, fertilizer minerals, critical minerals and minerals which are imported.