Home » Current, industry, Issues & Debates, Nation, Village voice » Once passed, Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Bill, 2011 will require sharing 26% profit with locals

Once passed, Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Bill, 2011 will require sharing 26% profit with locals

Once passed, Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Bill, 2011 will require sharing 26% profit with locals

Mineral wealth: a share for the locals?

Bhubaneswar: even a cursory glance at the physical map of India is enough to convince anyone that the mineral wealth of the country and our tribals and the poor live cheek by jowl. So when we speak of tribal’s rights, two major natural resources, forests and minerals must be put at the core of any discussion. It is well-known that the Naxalite problem in several states is closely tied up with the question, not to mention the ongoing series of protests up and down the country at these spots of dispute.

In the light of the above, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2011, waiting to be tabled in Parliament, acquires a special significance. The above bill significantly provides for sharing of profits from minerals with the local communities and could make a serious difference in some of the backward districts of the State, according to an analysis by Centre and Science Environment (CSE). The profit-sharing concept has been introduced in the Bill for the first time in Indian mining law, and requires that a mine leaseholder has to pay 26 per cent of profit after tax (PAT) or a sum equivalent to the royalty paid during the year, whichever is higher, to the District Mineral Foundation (DMF).

According to a recent report from Orissa, to take just one example, Keonjhar, Orissa’s mining heartland, contributes minerals valued at about Rs 7,000 crore annually but half of its population is still below the poverty line. If the draft MMDR provisions were to be implemented this year, the affected people of the district would then receive Rs 750 crore as share. Annually, every BPL household in Keonjhar would have got about Rs 40,000.

The CSE study further claims that if the MMDR provision been implemented in the fiscal 2010-11, the affected population of the top 50 mining districts of India would have got more than Rs 9,000 crore as share of profit from mining companies with the per capita benefit at around Rs 38,000. Fifty mining districts of the country possess 85 per cent of minerals and have close to 50 per cent of the total mine lease areas in the country. According to the CSE, at least 2.5 million people are directly affected by mining in these districts.

Releasing the study, Chandra Bhusan, Deputy Director-General of CSE, said had the MMDR Bill come into effect, the mining-affected people in Orissa would have got about Rs 1,750 crore as share of profit from mining companies. This could be used for poverty alleviation, health and education.

Once passed, the bill will indeed prove a landmark for tribal rights and social conflicts in general in the country.

One Response

  1. Shobha Raghuram says:

    Thanks for highlighting this. Please follow the passage of this Bill in Parliament and keep us readers informed .Thanks. I wonder how the figure 26% came and not some other figure like 50% and what are the safeguards that local populations will indeed be ensured the compensation? Most importantly, I do not see how that figure of 26% will ensure a livelihood compensation that includes gainful employment. Displacement is displacement and no payment is equal to cultural and civilization ways of existence being lost. This Bill requires a national discussion with economists working with farmers and coming to the right conclusions which includes the possibility;lity of a halt to mining that displaces people.

© 2010 BiharDays    
   · RSS · ·
%d bloggers like this: