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My notes 11-09-2015

La excellence IAS

 

11 sep 2015

 

The devil is in the detail.

  1. Though Government did not make it in detail the outlines of the agreement ,Mr. Muviah made it clear that , They agreed on shared sovergnity. Any agreement with Nagas will have Repercusssions in the entire nation and in North East especially.
  2. The NSCN (I-M) does not represent all the naga communities. The NSCN( Khaplang) , NSCN ( Konyak-Kitovi) etc all act independent of NSCN (I-M)
  3. Mr . Muviah is a Thungkul Naga from Manipur also effects his leadership claim. There are many other tribes such as Sema, The Angami, Konyak tribes - who question his leadership.

 

 

 

The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015

 

  •  The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015 was introduced in Lok Sabha on February 24, 2015.  The Bill amends the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.  
  • The Bill replaces the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Ordinance, 2015 promulgated on January 12, 2015.  
  • The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 regulates the mining sector in India and specifies the requirement for obtaining and granting mining leases for mining operations.
  • The Bill adds a new Fourth Schedule to the Act.  It includes bauxite, iron ore, limestone and manganese ore and are defined as notified minerals.  The central government may, by notification, amend this Schedule.
  • The Bill creates a new category of mining license i.e. the prospecting license-cum-mining lease, which is a two stage-concession for the purpose of undertaking prospecting operations (exploring or proving mineral deposits), followed by mining operations.
  • Maximum area for mining: Under the Act, a person could acquire one mining lease for a maximum area of 10 sq km.  However, for the development of any mineral, the central government could permit the person to acquire one or more licenses or leases covering additional area.  The Bill amends this provision to allow the central government to increase the area limits for mining, instead of providing additional leases.
  • Lease period: Under the Act, a mining lease was granted for a maximum of 30 years and a minimum of 20 years and could be renewed for a period not exceeding 20 years.  Under the Bill, the lease period for coal and lignite remains unchanged.  For all minerals other than coal, lignite and atomic minerals, mining leases shall be granted for a period of 50 years.  All mining leases granted for such minerals before the Bill, shall be valid for 50 years.  On expiry of the lease, instead of being renewed, the leases shall be put up for auction, as specified in the Act.
  • Lease extensions: The Bill specifies that any lease granted before the commencement of the Bill, shall be extended: (i) up to March 31, 2030 for minerals used for captive purpose (specific end-use) and up to March 31, 2020 for minerals used for other than captive purpose, or (ii) till the completion of renewal period, or (iii) for a period of 50 years from the date of grant of such lease, whichever is later.  This provision shall not apply to mining leases for which renewal has been rejected, granted, or lapsed.
  • Auction of notified and other minerals: The Bill states that state governments shall grant mining leases and prospecting license-cum-mining leases for both notified and other minerals.  Prospecting license-cum-mining lease for notified minerals shall be granted with the approval of central government.   All leases shall be granted through auction by competitive bidding, including e-auction. 
  • The central government shall prescribe the terms and conditions, and procedure for auction, including parameters for the selection of bidders.  For mining leases, the central government may reserve particular mines for a specific end use and allow only eligible end users to participate in the auction, if found necessary.
  • Transfer of mineral concessions: The Bill states that the holder of a mining lease or prospecting license-cum-mining lease may transfer the lease to any eligible person, with the approval of the state government, and as specified by the central government.  If the state government does not convey its approval within 90 days of receiving the notice, the transfer shall be considered as approved.  No transfer shall take place if the state government communicates, in writing, that the transferee is not eligible.  Only mineral concessions granted through auction will be allowed for transfer.
  • Institutions: The Bill provides for the creation of a District Mineral Foundation (DMF) and a National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET).  The DMF is to be established by the state government for the benefit of persons in districts affected by mining related operations.  The NMET shall be established by the central government for regional and detailed mine exploration.  Licensees and lease holders shall pay the DMF an amount not more than one-third of the royalty prescribed by the central government, and the NMET two percent of royalty.

Issue - Odisha is the first state that constituted the DMF.  There is no clarity on what percentage of revenue miners must contribute to the DMF. UPA Government had mandated that mining companies shall pay the amount equivalent to DMF. Now, the bill made it as not exceeding one third of the royalty.

DMF management is not clearly stated. Disctrict collector features on DMF board of trustees and its executive committee. This creates a conflict between overseeing and implementation functions.

It entirely sidelines the public participation and local knowledge  which are crucial to building an effective DMF.

 

Ironically, the Union Ministry of Mines’ own 2011 document on ‘Sustainable Mining’ conceptualised the DMFs as bodies with project-affected, community and civil society representation, and a more expansive public role.

This included building the capacities of Adivasi co-operatives in line with the Samata judgement on mining in scheduled areas, providing affected communities with monitoring powers on existing mines, enabling informed participation in consent processes, and holding periodic district-level consultations on the impacts of mining, with the involvement of key policymakers like the MTA and the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

 

Nothing is in the spirit of this .

Samata judgement

Samata, an NGO working in the scheduled tribal area of Andhra Pradesh, filed a case against the state government of Andhra Pradesh.

This case was against the Government of A.P. for leasing out tribal lands to private mining companies in the Scheduled areas.

The case (SLP) filed in the Supreme Court of India led to a historic judgement in July 1997 by a three judge-bench. 

The Judgement declared that the Government is also a "Person" and that:

All lands leased to private mining companies in the scheduled areas are null and void.

Some features of the judgement are:

94. By the Constitution [73rd Amendment] Act, 1992 ....

every Gram Sabha shall be competent to safeguard and preserve...community resources". .....

clause (m) (iii) the power to prevent alienation of land in the Scheduled Areas and to take appropriate action to restore any unlawful alienation of land of a Scheduled Tribe ...

110. Minerals to be exploited by tribals themselves either individually or through cooperative societies with financial assistance of the State.

112. in the absence of total prohibition on mineral exploitation, the court laid down certain duties and obligations to the lease owner, as a part of the project expenditure.

114. At least 20% of the profits as permanent fund for development needs apart for m reforestation and maintenance of ecology.

115. Transfer of land in Scheduled Area by way of lease to non-tribals, corporation aggregate, etc stands prohibited.

116. renewal of lease is fresh grant of lease and therefore, any transfer stands prohibited.

117. Transfer of mining lease to non-tribals, company, corporation aggregate or partnership firm etc is unconstitutional, void and inoperative. State instrumentality s like APMDC stands excluded from prohibition.

129. In the absence of total prohibition in some states with scheduled Areas, Committee of Secretaries and State Cabinet Sub committees should be constituted and decision taken thereafter.

131. Conference of all Chief Ministers, Ministers holding the Ministry concerned and Prime minister, and central Ministers concerned should take a policy decision for a consistent scheme throughout the country in respect of tribal lands.

 

From <http://mmpindia.in/Samata_Judgement.htm>

 

 

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