Centre bats for long-term green clearance to projects

Express News Service
NEW DELHI: Citing delay in green clearances, the Centre has proposed that the permit be made valid till exhaustion of reserves rather than continuing with the practice of seeking approval for new mining leases within two years of transfer or termination of rights. 

According to the Ministry of Mines, an amendment to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 is being proposed after consultations with the central ministries, states and general public. Incidentally, the Act was amended in 2020 under which a new lessee is required to apply for and obtain fresh clearances within two years. 

“It is noted that the new lessees are facing difficulties in obtaining fresh clearances within two-year period as they have to undergo the lengthy process of obtaining clearances afresh, which is time consuming although all the steps have already been compiled with by the previous lessee while obtaining clearances initially,” said a draft proposal by the ministry. 

The proposal comes even as the Environment ministry has claimed to have streamlined the green clearance process to cut down the time for according approvals to projects in various sectors. The Mines ministry has proposed to amend Section 8B of the Act.

“This provides for all the valid rights, approvals, clearances, licenses and the like granted to a lessee in respect of a mine shall continue to be valid till exhaustion of minable reserves in the mine and on expiry or termination of lease, such clearances shall be transferred and vested to the successful bidder of the mining lease… This provision will be applicable for all minerals,” said the draft.