Cabinet approves new mining bill

Share prices of metal and coal companies nosedive

By Richard Mahapatra
Published: Friday 30 September 2011

The Union cabinet approved the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2011 on Friday. After 54 years, the country will have a new legislation for mines and minerals. The bill is unique in that for the first time it provides for sharing of profit with local communities affected by mining. The proposed bill mandates coal miners to share a maximum 26 per cent of their profits with local communities and for other miners an amount equivalent to royalties.

Though expected, reactions are trickling. Share price of metal and coal companies took a hit as soon as the news was released. Mining companies have decided to lobby for changes in Parliament. The bill will be tabled in the house during the winter session. Odisha chief minister Navin Patnaik told the media in Bhubaneswar that the bill was “too late and too little”. Recently he wrote to the prime minister asking for more revenue sharing.

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