Odisha mops up Rs 6,693 cr mining royalty since new MMDR law

Potash mine
The Odisha government has collected mining royalty valued at Rs 6,693.62 crore (as on March 27, 2017) since the enactment of the amended Mines and Minerals-Development & Regulation (MMDR) Act.

The revenue has accrued from 96 operational mines engaged in the extraction of iron ore, chromite, bauxite and limestone. The revenue collection is of the period from January 12, 2015, the date of promulgation of MMDR Act, 2015 to March 27 this year.

The enactment of the new MMDR Act has enabled Odisha to extend the validity of more than 60 mine leases, boosting both production and despatch, especially that of iron ore. Also, the state government has executed mining lease (ML) deeds with 16 lessees before the January 11, 2017 deadline stipulated for such mines. These mining leases were saved under Section 10 (A) (2) (c) of the amended Mines and Minerals-Development & Regulation Act (MMDR), 2015.

In Odisha, ML deeds have been executed for the mines owned by Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd (NINL), Shree Metaliks Ltd, Pradhan Industries, Bajrang Lal Gupta, Manikeswari Minerals, Prakash Industries Ltd, Koustuv Mining & Smelting Ltd, Sanjukta Gems, Bijay Kumar Bansal, K C Pradhan, National Enterprises, Rudrasen Sindhu and Om Prakash Jain.

Iron ore production in Odisha has touched a peak in this fiscal, with the combined output by both merchant and captive miners touching 94.19 million tonne (as on March 10, 2017). The ore production is the highest in a decade, bettering the state's own production rate of 80.8 million tonne (mt) in 2015-16. Nationwide iron ore output by the end of this fiscal pegged at 180 mt. Odisha is poised to be the top producer, accounting for over 50 per cent of the output.

The despatch of iron ore permitted by the state government is 111.1 mt and if achieved, this could be the best ever despatch rate ever. By the end of February this year, the iron ore despatches were already in upwards of 90 mt.

Odisha is the largest iron ore producing state and its ore production went up nearly 50 per cent in 2015-16 from 47 million tonne (mt) to 80.86 mt. This came on the back of the state government's swift orders to extend the validity of mining leases after the enactment of the amended MMDR Act.

Pan-India iron ore production moved up 20 per cent last fiscal, rising from 129 mt to 155 mt. Market estimates have put this fiscal's iron ore production in the country to be in excess of 180 mt.

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