The Lok Sabha recently passed the Offshore Areas Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023.
GS II: Polity and Governance
Dimensions of the Article:
- Offshore Areas Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023
- Key Highlights
Offshore Areas Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023:
- The Bill seeks to amend the Offshore Areas Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 2002.
- It is aimed at regulating mining activities in maritime zones of India.
Reservation of Offshore Areas:
- The government will have the authority to reserve offshore areas not held under any operating rights.
Composite Licence and Production Lease:
- The administering authority can grant a composite licence or production lease to the government or a government company.
Fixed Period for Production Lease:
- The provision for the renewal of production lease will be removed.
- A fixed period of fifty years for production lease will be provided, similar to the provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957.
Private Sector Participation through Auction:
- Production lease to the private sector will be granted only through auction by competitive bidding.
Operating Rights for Government Entities:
- Operating rights can be granted without competitive bidding to government entities or corporations in mineral-bearing areas reserved by the central government.
Atomic Minerals Allocation:
- In the case of atomic minerals, exploration licence or production lease will be granted only to a government or a government corporation.
Timelines for Commencement and Re-commencement:
- A four-year timeline will be introduced for the commencement of production and dispatch after the execution of the composite licence or production lease.
- A two-year timeline (extendable by one year) will be set for re-commencement of production and dispatch after discontinuation.
Conservation and Environmental Protection:
- The central government will be empowered to frame rules for the conservation and systematic development of minerals in offshore areas.
- Rules will also be formulated to prevent or control pollution caused by exploration or production operations, with a focus on protecting the environment.
-Source: Indian Express