Narendra Singh Tomar: Law to spend mine revenue improved people's condition

Updated: Dec 30, 2017, 17:27 IST | PTI

A new law, which has made it mandatory for spending of a part of revenue made from auctioning mines in developing the areas they are located in, has resulted in improved living conditions of people in these regions, government claimed today

A new law, which has made it mandatory for spending of a part of revenue made from auctioning mines in developing the areas they are located in, has resulted in improved living conditions of people in these regions, government claimed today.

Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told the Lok Sabha that district mineral foundations, which were created after the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act came into being, have received Rs 13,398 crore and Rs
2,260 crore have been spent so far in developing local areas. This money will be spent on the affected people and
areas, Tomar said while replying to a question during the Question Hour.

"The changes in the MMDR Act are benefiting people. Their living condition is changing," he said. To supplementaries regarding the steps Centre has taken to curb illegal mining, he said the law against it has been made more stringent as it now entails five-year jail term and Rs 5 lakh fine instead of a two-year term and Rs 25,000 fine earlier.

States have also been asked to set up special courts to try cases of illegal mining, Tomar said. To a question from NK Premachandran (RSP) about lack of action against illegal miners in Kerala, the minister said it was for the states to act against them.

Tomar also acknowledged that there was a crisis in the availability of sand and his cabinet colleague Nitin Gadkari,
who is in charge of highway constructions, has also spoken about it.

A committee under the mining secretary has been formed to ensure easier availability of sand, he said. The government has made it mandatory to auction mines of major minerals, he said, adding it has suggested to the states to go for auctions of minor mines too.

Nine states have earned Rs 1.69 lakh crore by auctioning 33 of 88 blocks of mines, he said.

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