Monday, November 29, 1999

Centre asks states to expedite decision on mines applications

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New Delhi, June 17 (PTI) The Centre has asked states to speed up decisions on 291 applications for grant of permits to explore minerals before a new mining law is enacted. "Once the new mining legislation is enacted, the investors will be required to apply afresh, making the entire exercise so far infructuous," a senior Mines Ministry official told PTI. The maximum number of applications, 73, are pending with Karnataka, followed by 46 in Andhra Pradesh and 36 in Jharkhand. As many as 33 cases are awaiting clearance in Rajasthan and 26 in Orissa. In all, approvals are awaited from 16 states. These applications pending for over a year are for Reconnaissance Permits (RP), which allow the prospective miners to carry out preliminary exploration of mineral reserves. The official said once a new law comes into force, the applicants will have to start the process afresh, "which will mean loss of time and efforts." The draft bill for a legislation which will replace the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act of 1957 will be introduced in Parliament after a Group of Ministers (GoM) examines it. According to Mines Minister B K Handique, the new law is likely to be in place within the current financial year. PTI NAM PC ARV.

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