Current Affairs

Budget FY15: Mining Industry See a Ray of Hope

Goa’s beleaguered mining industry today said certain proposals in the Union Budget are expected to help the resumption of iron ore extraction, which had been stalled in the State since the last two years.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his maiden Budget speech, proposed to expeditiously resolve the “current impasse” in mining industry to encourage investment and bridge supply-demand gap. 

He proposed to revise royalty rates on minerals which would help swell the coffers of States and make changes, if necessary, in the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Amendment Act (MMDRA) to facilitate to encourage investment and promote sustainable mining practices. 

“We hope necessary amendments are done in the MMRD Act so that mining operations resume at the earliest and existing ambiguities are removed,” spokesperson, Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association (GMOEA).

“It’s correct decision to amend the MMRD Act. At present there is a lot of ambiguity due to multiple interpretation of the Act. The amendment will help the entire mining sector in the country,” he further added.

Asked about the revision of royalty rates, he said stakeholders should be taken into confidence before moving ahead on this front as the current rates of taxes paid by the mining industry are high.

India’s mining sector, particularly extraction of iron ore – the steel-making raw material – was affected after the Supreme Court imposed a ban in Karnataka and Goa on allegations of illegal mining. 

The SC had banned iron ore mining in Karnataka in July-August 2011, and in Goa in October 2012 and it was lifted early this year with a cap on production. 

As a result of the ban, both production and exports of iron ore fell drastically.

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