Mines ordinance: State seeks legal opinion

Bhubaneswar: Odisha will raise its concerns regarding Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Amendment (MMDRA) Ordinance during the meeting called by the Centre in New Delhi on January 19 to discuss on how to implement its decision on the new law in States, said State Steel and Mines minister Prafulla Mallick here today.

“We will present our views in the meeting and see that the State’s interest is kept intact while implementing the ordinance,” Mallick said, adding that the State should be given money which it would have earned during auction or tender process of mines as decided by its Cabinet.

“We have sought opinion from our Law department. If they suggest us to move the court against the ordinance, we would do accordingly,” he emphasized.

Notably, the Central government promulgated the ordinance to implement its auction policy of granting mining leases for both bulk minerals and notified minerals.

The ordinance grants longer tenures over mines, increasing the period from 30 years to 50 years. The ordinance removes the concept of renewal of leases and after the end of the lease period, leases will be auctioned.

Sources said Odisha would lose a whopping Rs 5,000 crore revenue annually due to the Centre’s mines ordinance.