The mineral sector is regulated by the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act) and Rules framed thereunder viz. Mineral (Auction) Rules, 2015, Minerals (Other than Atomic and Hydro Carbons Energy Minerals) Concession Rules, 2016 and Mineral Conservation and Development Rules, 2017 (MCDR) and others. The Act and Rules provide regulatory framework for administration, regulation and development of mineral sector in the country.
Mining is a subject mentioned both in the Centre and State lists, the Rules for major minerals are framed by the Centre and the mineral concessions are granted and managed by the States. The Centre administers MCDR through Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) for the purpose of systematic and scientific development of mineral resources in the country.
The allocation of mineral blocks of major minerals has now been started through e-auctions for ensuring greater transparency and limiting discretion in the grant process, as mandated by the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015. The e-auction process for the grant of mineral blocks has laid the foundation stone for 'ease of doing business' in the mining sector in the country.
The preferred bidder is required to obtain several clearances/ approvals after the mineral block is allocated through e-auction and before the mining operations could commence. In the context of Prime Minister's 'Make in India' initiative, it is imperative that auctioned blocks commence production within the shortest possible gestation period. The objective of ease of doing business will get defeated if there is an undue delay in granting the requisite clearances.
In view of this and to facilitate and expedite various clearances / approvals required after the mineral block is allocated, it had been decided at the apex level to constitute an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) and call it Post-Auction Mining Clearances and Approvals Facilitator (PAMCAF).
Under PAMCAF, "TAMRA which stands for Transparency, Auction Monitoring and Resource Augmentation" web based portal and Mobile APP has been conceptualized to provide the status of mining block auctioned/ to be auctioned in India to the public in a 'transparent' manner. This would facilitate the preferred bidders and other stakeholders including States/ Ministry of Mines to 'monitor' the status of statutory clearances associated with the mineral blocks to expedite production from the mineral blocks, resulting in 'resource augmentation' and addition to the fiscal resource base of the States.
The process being put in place will, thereby, assist the stakeholders i.e. general public about the enhanced capture rate from the mining sector; prospective investors by way of sharing credible information on the pipeline of mineral blocks; the preferred bidders by way of putting in place credible clearance monitoring system along with effective feedback loop; and also the States on monitoring the cumulative fiscal inflows through the auction process.