New National Mineral Policy: Steel Ministry pins transport infrastructure, high royalty as focus points

New National Mineral Policy: Steel Ministry pins transport infrastructure, high royalty as focus points

Slashing the royalty rates charged on mineral production; discouraging road transport of minerals and increasing the share of rail transportation; streamlining iron ore supply with the help of long-term supply agreements between steel companies and miners and developing Special Mining Zones (SMZs) to upgrade the scale of ore production in ‘iron-rich free hold areas’ are among the suggestions that the steel ministry has proposed to the mines ministry. The mines ministry is currently in the process of formulating a new national mineral policy.

On August 2, 2017, the Supreme Court had passed a judgment, wherein it directed the Central government to revisit the National Mineral Policy, 2008, and announce a “fresh and more effective, meaningful and implementable policy” before the end of this year. The mines ministry formed a committee after this judgment and its first meeting took place on August 28. During the meeting, mines ministry officials asked all stakeholders, including the Ministry of Steel, to send their comments and suggestions on the National Mineral Policy.

In its suggestions, the steel ministry stated that since India has high royalty rates as compared to other countries, the existing rates charged on mineral production should be examined for “bringing it at par with global level to make it globally competitive”. “Further, all levies like royalty, DMF (District Mineral Foundation), NMET (National Mineral Exploration Trust), Forest Development Tax etc should be subsumed in a single levy, say royalty, and financial burden of these levies/royalty should be made ‘tax pass through’ i.e. benefiting input tax credit on such payment should be available under GST”, it has said in its suggestions. Read More…

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