23 September 2015 14:50:06 IST

Govt may reconsider decision to not allow transfer of captive mining leases in M&As

Mining lease auctions should kick off in November: Tomar

The government may revisit its decision not to allow transfer of existing captive mining leases in the case of a merger and acquisition, said Mines and Steel Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday.

The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act 2015 allows only the transfer of mining leases that have been won in an auction. Asked whether such a provision puts an impediment for ‘ease of doing business’, the Minister said, “When new laws are drafted and put into place, such issues often crop up. If the industry is facing a problem, we will consider it.”

Tomar did not elaborate further on whether changes will be made to the law, which was enacted in January 12, 2015. The minister was speaking on the sidelines of a mining summit organised by Assocham here.

Meanwhile, the minister also said that he has been apprised of the problem of cheap imports hurting the aluminium industry. “The aluminium association has met with us and told us their problems. But we will need to study them further,” said Tomar.

On the timeline for mining lease auctions, the Minister said he was confident it will start from November. “From the Central government side everything is ready. States are working hard to start the auctions. We have also offered assistance to those States which are facing problems to start the auctions,” said Tomar.

He added that States have identified 168 blocks for auction and, in the first phase, mining leases for 82 blocks are likely to go under the hammer.