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Illegal Mining Will Soon Become Legal In India: Reports

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New Delhi: The Central Government has proposed the Supreme Court of India to change the definition of “illegal mining.” If this amendment is passed, then it will boost the mining companies in India.
The present mining law enables the government to recover the 100% value of the minerals extracted illegally. Based on this provision, the Supreme Court of India ordered the recovery of Rs 17,576 crore from the mining companies that illegally extracted iron ore and manganese in Odisha violating the environmental laws.
The extraction of the minerals will be narrowed down to the ones done outside the lease area allocated for mining or the defined area which the company has been allowed for mining.
If the amendment is passed, then any violation such as extraction of the minerals beyond the mining plan or violating the environmental and forest laws will not be considered as illegal.
Previously in January 2017, an affidavit was submitted by the Ministry of Mines in Supreme Court which supported an expansive interpretation of Section 21(5) under the MMDR Act, from which the definition of illegal mining flows.
The ministry said that the provisions “would apply to all minerals raised without any lawful authority, be it forest clearances or environment clearances or any other such legal requirements,” as quoted by Scroll. While, three years later, the government has changed its plan.
R Sreedhar, the former chairperson of Mines, Minerals and People, said in a statement, “The government is making a mockery of cooperative federalism and transparency when it seeks responses to far-reaching changes in the mining sector in India in 10 days.”
One of the amendments allowed the auction of the mineral blocks for which the revival permits, prospects the licenses and the approvals have also been granted, but it didn’t come into operation.

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