In a huge relief to the mines industry, the Rajya Sabha passed the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDRA) Amendment Bill, 2015, which paves the way for mines auction in the coming days. The bill was earlier passed by Lok Sabha.
Although Congress Party and Left Front opposed the bill, Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Trinamool Congress (TMC), AIADMK and BSP supported it. 117 votes were cast in favour of the bill, while just 69 votes were against it. JD(U) staged a walkout from Rajya Sabha.
One of the key features of the Bill is that a fixed percentage of revenues generated from the mines will go to the local area for development. The licenses granted through auctioning will be valid for 50 years. All mines will be allocated through auctions only and won’t be renewed after the license expires.
The government has already Rs 2 lakh crore from the two auctions that took place in the last two months.