The government think tank NITI Aayog on Thursday has written to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) against the union mines ministry’s proposal to amend the Mines & Mineral Development Regulation (MMDR) Act citing it could lead to litigation and disrupt existing investments of the mining sector.
Earlier, union mines ministry has prepared a proposal to amend the MMDR Act to free up over 500 mines for auction.
The mines ministry has proposed to amend section 10A(2b) and (2c) under the MMDR Act. Clause 10A (2c) allowed pre-auction mines to get environmental and forest clearances (EC and FC) by 2017 and clause 10A (2b) does not have a sunset clause on pre-auction mines for starting operations.
Foreign investors of a BSE listed Deccan Gold Mines company have written a letter to the NITI Aayog vice-chairman, Rajiv Kumar saying that "We are in a critical situation and we are looking at protecting our investment and want to bring these projects online which would benefit rural India."
The Prime Minister’s Office has sought comments from the mines ministry on the same. The union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in May this year had announced the auction of 500 mineral mines as part of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat announcements