Mines and minerals amendment Bill passed in Rajya Sabha
Mines and minerals amendment Bill passed in Rajya Sabha

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha, on Wednesday, approved the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023, with a focus on promoting private sector involvement in mineral exploration, specifically lithium.

Lok Sabha's Previous Passage of the Bill- The Bill had previously been passed by the Lok Sabha on 28th July. Following its approval by the upper house, the parliamentary process was concluded, and the Bill now awaits the President's consent before becoming law.

Removal of Six Minerals from the Atomic Mineral List -An essential aspect of the Bill involves the removal of six minerals from the list of 12 atomic minerals. These minerals have significant applications in various industries, such as space, electronics, communications, energy, and electric batteries, and play a crucial role in India's commitment to achieving net-zero emissions.

Opening Opportunities for Private Sector - Previously, these minerals were exclusively reserved for government entities due to their classification as atomic minerals. However, upon their removal from the list, the private sector will also have the chance to explore and mine these minerals.

Exclusive Auction of Mining Leases and Composite Licences: The Bill also grants the Central government the authority to conduct exclusive auctions for mining leases and composite licences concerning specific critical minerals.

Impact on India's Mineral Sector": The passage of this Bill signifies a major shift in India's mineral sector. By inviting private sector participation in mineral exploration, the country aims to accelerate economic growth and technological advancements. The inclusion of lithium exploration presents promising opportunities for the development of sustainable energy solutions and the expansion of the electric vehicle industry.

Boosting Technological Advancements: The space, electronics, and communication industries are set to benefit significantly from the availability of these critical minerals. With the private sector's involvement, technological advancements are expected to surge, furthering India's position as a global player in innovation and cutting-edge technologies.

Contributing to Net-Zero Emissions Commitment: The removal of these minerals from the atomic mineral list aligns with India's commitment to achieving net-zero emissions. By enabling private enterprises to explore and utilize these resources, the nation can make significant strides in sustainable practices and reducing its carbon footprint.

Empowering the Private Sector: The Bill's focus on empowering the private sector demonstrates the government's trust in the capabilities of private enterprises. This move is expected to create a conducive environment for investment and promote healthy competition, fostering growth and technological breakthroughs in the mining and mineral exploration sector.

The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023, marks a milestone in India's approach to mineral exploration and development. By encouraging private sector participation and removing restrictive barriers, the country paves the way for innovation, growth, and sustainable practices. The potential impact of this Bill extends beyond the mineral sector, driving advancements in various industries and contributing to India's journey towards a greener, more prosperous future.

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