Govt Announces Policy Reforms To Enhance Private Investments In Mineral Sector, To Auction 500 Mining Blocks A view of Earth movers at KIOCL mines (Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited) (Representative Image) (Deepak G Pawar/The India Today Group/Getty Images)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a press briefing on Saturday (16 May) announced major reforms in the mining of minerals through a seamless composite exploration-cum-production regime.

The minister announced that 500 blocks of minerals will be auctioned through an open and transparent process.

She further said that a joint auction of bauxite and coal blocks would also be done to enhance the aluminium industry's competitiveness.

This will help the aluminium industry reduce electricity costs, the minister said.

The minister said the distinction between captive and non-captive mines will be removed to allow the transfer of mining leases and sale of surplus unused minerals, leading to better efficiency and production.

She also informed that the Ministry of Mines is in the process to develop ‘Mineral Index’ for different minerals.

The stamp duty payable at the time of award of the mining leases will also be rationalised, the minister said.

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