The Indian Cabinet has approved the 2019 National Mineral Policy (NMP 2019), which aims to develop the mining sector in a sustainable manner.
NMP 2019 replaces the current National Mineral Policy, which as been in place since 2008, and aims to ensure effective regulation. It will also address the issues of project-affected persons especially those residing in tribal areas.
The new programme aims to have an implementable policy that brings in further transparency, better regulation and enforcement and includes provisions that give a boost to the mining sector.
The provisions include the introduction of Right of First Refusal for RP/PL holders and encouraging the private sector to take up exploration.
Additionally, auction will be conducted in virgin areas for composite RP cum PL cum ML on a revenue share basis, and merger and acquisition of mining entities would be encouraged.
Furthermore, the provisions will include the transfer of mining leases and the creation of dedicated mineral corridors to boost private sector mining areas and facilitate the transportation of minerals.
NMP 2019, which aims to attract private investment through incentives, proposes to grant industry status to mining activites, in order to boost financing to allow for the buying of mineral assets in other countries by the private sector.
It also established a new long term import-export policy, which aims to help the private sector improve its planning, and includes putting up for auction areas given to PSUs that have not been used.
It will also focus on the use of coastal waterways and inland shipping to transport minerals.