Canadian Delegation meets Shri Bandaru Dattatreya


The Minister of Labour of Canada, Dr. Kellie Leitch calling on the Minister of State for Labour and Employment (Independent Charge), Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, in New Delhi on January 13, 2015.


Canadian Delegation meets Shri Bandaru Dattatreya 

The Minister of labour and Minister of Women Canada, Dr. Kellie Leitch met the Union Minister of State for Labour and employment (Independent charge) Shri Bandaru Dattatreya today at Shram Shakti Bhawan, New Delhi. The two sides agreed to work on a number of areas of mutual interest in the field of Labour including capacity building for mediation and conciliation and promoting joint certification for skilled workforce in the two countries. 


Canada and India have longstanding bilateral relations, built upon shared traditions of democracy, pluralism and the presence of a significant indo-canadian population has strengthened the bond. India and Canada has also developed a mutual understanding and partnership at various International labour Fora including ILO and G-20. With the proposed visit of the Prime Minister of India to Canada in, both are confident that the relationship will reach new heights. 

Ministry of Labour and Employment is focusing on good governance in labour issues. The Government is working on enhancing transparency, ease of compliance and efficient compliance through better and effective use of technology. A Unified Labour Web Portal (Shram Suvidha Portal) has been developed in Central Sphere which provides a simplified single online return by the Industry for 16 labour Laws. Through effective use of technology, government is trying to promote industrial peace and harmony and to have a conducive environment for inclusive growth and industrial development. To bring in more transparency and accountability in the labour inspection system, Government of India has launched a Formal Labour Inspection Scheme. Under the Scheme, a computerized list of inspections is to be generated based on risk- based criteria as per respective labour Acts. Minister said that we look forward to mutual cooperation in capacity building in labour and sharing of good practices. The Minister added that conciliation and mediation is an area where we would like to associate with Canada for capacity building. 

For meeting the skill needs of our industry and for enhancing employability of our youth, Ministry of Labour & Employment has taken several initiatives for qualitative and quantitative improvement in the area of vocational training. Skill portability has been recognised as an effective policy tool to address the demand supply balance for skilled labour across globe. The Ministry is open to exploring the possibility working with Canada on the issue of customisation of curriculum and portability of certification under our new policy of flexi-MoU. Minister also mentioned the initiatives being bilaterally addressed with other countries mainly Germany and Australia and invited Canadian Government to partner in setting up of National workers Vocational Institute. The two sides agreed to take forward the agenda in a focussed and targeted manner. 

Among others, the Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Employment, Smt Gauri Kumar was also present on the occasion. 

*****

Government Promulgates the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 


The Government has promulgated an Ordinance on Monday, the 12th January, 2015 (MMDR Amendment Ordinance, 2015) under Article 123(1) of the Constitution. This amends certain provisions of MMDR Act, 1957.

The promulgation of Ordinance became necessary to address the emergent problems in the mining industry. In the last few years, the number of new Mining Leases granted in the country have fallen substantially. In addition, second and subsequent renewals have also been affected by Court judgements. As a result, the output in the mining sector has come down drastically, leading to import of minerals by users of those minerals. The salient provisions of the Ordinance are listed separately in a page placed below.

Removal of discretion; auction to be sole method of allotment

Essentially, Government intended to remove discretion in grant of mineral concessions. All mineral concessions are granted by the respective State Governments. They will continue to do so but all grant of mineral concessions would be through auctions, thereby bringing in greater transparency and removing of discretion. This should also mean that the Government will get an increased share from the mining sector. Unlike in the 1957 Act, there would be no renewal of any mining concession. The tenure of the mineral concession have been increased from the existing 30 years to 50 years. Thereafter, the Mining Lease would be put up for auction (and not for renewal as in the earlier system).

Impetus to the mining sector

The mining industry have been aggrieved due to the second and subsequent renewals remaining pending. In fact, this has led to closure of large number of mines. The Ordinance addresses this issue also. Government has kept in mind that interest of Mining Lease holders should not be adversely affected. Therefore, Sub-Section 5 and 6 of Section 8(a) of the Ordinance provides that the Mining Leases would be deemed to be extended from the date of their last renewal to 31st March, 2030 (in the captive miners) and till 31st March, 2020 (for the merchant miners) or till the completion of the renewal already granted, if any, whichever is later. Thus, no Mining Lease holder is likely to be put into any disadvantaged condition. It is expected that this would immediately permit such closed mines to start their operations.

Safeguarding interest of affected persons

There is provision to establish District Mineral Foundation (DMF) in the districts where mining takes place. This is designed to address the long time grievance of the civil society with people affected by mining are not cared for. There is seprate provision for contribution to the DMF not exceeding 1/3rd of the royalty rate in the respective minerals.

Encouraging exploration and investment

Indian mining industry has not seen the type of exploration as in other countries. To address this, the Ordinance proposes to setup a National Mineral Exploration Trust created out of contribution from the mining lease holders. This would allow the Government to have a dedicated fund for undertaking exploration. In addition, the transferability provision (in respect of Mining Leases to be granted through auction) would permit flow of greater investment to the sector and increasing the efficiency in mining.

Simplification of procedure and removal of delay

In respect of ten minerals in Part C of First Schedule (like iron ore, manganese, bauxite, copper, gold, etc.), State Government needed to obtain the prior approval of the Central Government before grant of mineral concession. The amendment removes the need for such “prior approval” from the Central Government, thereby making the process quicker and simpler. Similarly, approval of mining plan by the Government would no longer be mandatory as a provision has been added under 5(2)(b) permitting the State Governments to devise a system for filing of a mining plan obviating need for approval by the Government. The Ordinance also provides that the tenure of any Mining Lease would now be 50 years in place of 30 years in the existing Act. Further, central government has been given powers to intervene where state governments do not pass orders within prescribed timelines. This will eliminate delay.

Stronger provisions for checking illegal mining 

In order to bring a check on illegal mining, the penal provisions have been made further stringent. Higher penalties and jail terms have been provided in the ordinance. Further, a provision has been made for constitution of special courts by the state govt. for fast-track trial of cases related to illegal mining.

The salient provisions of the Ordinance are as follows:

Ø All mineral concessions will be granted only through auction {Section 10 B &11}.
Ø Direct auction for mining leases for bulk minerals; auction of prospecting licences-cum-mining leases for deep-seated minerals {Section 10 B & 11}.
Ø Uniform lease period of 50 years; no renewals; auction at the end of lease period; will solve issues arising out of all SC judgments on second and subsequent renewals {Section 8 A (1), (2), (3) and (4)}.
Ø Transition period of minimum 15 years for captive mines and 5 years for other mines; no sudden stoppage as a result of amendment {Section 8 A (5) and 8 A (6)}. Central Government empowered to prescribe deadlines for various processes and to issue binding directions to States {Section 20 A}.
Ø Central Government to frame separate rules for atomic minerals {Amendment to Section 11 (B)}.
Ø The previous approval of the Central Government will not be required for grant of mineral concession except for Atomic Minerals, Coal and Lignite {Amendment to Section 5(1)}.
Ø Enabling powers for reservation for the public sector to continue {Section 17 A (2A)}.
Ø Higher penalties and jail terms for offences; special courts may be constituted, if necessary {Amendment to Section 21(1) & (2)}. .
Ø District Mineral Foundation to take care of people and areas affected by mining {Section 9 (B)}.
Ø National Mineral Exploration Trust to be set up for impetus to exploration {Section 9 (C)}.
Ø Easy transferability of concessions obtained through auctions so as to attract private investment and FDI {Section 12 (A)}.
Ø Powers to Central Government to intervene even where State Governments do not pass orders within prescribed time lines; this will eliminate delay {Amendment to Section 30}.

***

Australian delegation congratulates Indian Government for bringing in forward looking and progressive changes in Mining Sector 

An Australian delegation led by Mr. Andrew Robb, Trade and Investment Minister, Australia met Union Minister of Steel & Mines Shri Narendra Singh Tomar at Udyog Bhawan, New Delhi yesterday. Senior officials from the governments of India and Australia and CEOs from the companies in both the countries were present during the meeting. 

Shri Tomar remarked that such bilateral meetings contribute significantly in strengthening the political and economic relations between the two countries. He invited the mining companies from Australia to be a partner in developing the mining sector in India. While highlighting the issues of concern, he mentioned reducing the high waiting time for ships at the coal loading ports in Australia, improving availability of rail and port capacities for transporting coking coal to port and creating opportunities for sale or investments in the equity of good coking coal assets in Australia. Terming the deliberations fruitful, Shri Tomar assured the delegation that their concerns will be addressed and expressed confidence that bilateral relations will become better and stronger, paving way for progress on both sides. 

Mr. Andrew Robb pointed out that around one-third members in the 450-strong delegation that has come to India, represent mining sector. He expressed the desire of Australian government to take the relations between the two countries to a higher level. Mr. Robb complimented the new government for bringing in forward-looking and progressive changes in the mining sector. The meeting, like other meetings they had in India, has been frank and fruitful, marked by a genuine constructive approach and infectious energy and momentum, he added. Mr. Robb commended the stable policy regime, which is sure to attract investors to India and agreed with the general perception that red tape is being transformed to red carpet. 

***

Two-Day Regional Conference on “Innovation in Public Service Delivery” 

The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) Government of India is organizing a two-day Regional Conference on ‘Innovation in Public Service Delivery’ in collaboration with the Government of Chhattisgarh, at Raipur on 15-16th January, 2015. 

The Conference aims to create a national platform to share experiences of the States in the field of reforms/initiatives undertaken by the States/Union Territories to improve public service delivery and make the administration effective, transparent, accountable and citizen-friendly. It will also provide a forum for the AR departments of the States/UTs to highlight the challenges faced by them and their expectations from the Department of AR&PG, Government of India. The recent initiatives of the Government of India will also be shared with the States/Union Territories. 

The representatives from the States and Union Territories in the Southern, Central and Western Regions would make presentations on award winning initiatives and projects on ‘Best Practices’ from the respective States/UTs followed by interactive sessions. 

***

Two-Day Regional Conference on “Innovation in Public Service Delivery” 

The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) Government of India is organizing a two-day Regional Conference on ‘Innovation in Public Service Delivery’ in collaboration with the Government of Chhattisgarh, at Raipur on 15-16th January, 2015. 

The Conference aims to create a national platform to share experiences of the States in the field of reforms/initiatives undertaken by the States/Union Territories to improve public service delivery and make the administration effective, transparent, accountable and citizen-friendly. It will also provide a forum for the AR departments of the States/UTs to highlight the challenges faced by them and their expectations from the Department of AR&PG, Government of India. The recent initiatives of the Government of India will also be shared with the States/Union Territories. 

The representatives from the States and Union Territories in the Southern, Central and Western Regions would make presentations on award winning initiatives and projects on ‘Best Practices’ from the respective States/UTs followed by interactive sessions. 

***

ACC Appointment 

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shri A.S. Kiran Kumar, Director, Space Application Centre, as Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, Space Commission, on re-employment on contract basis, for tenure of three years from the date of assumption of charge of the post. 

***

Canadian Delegation meets Shri Bandaru Dattatreya Canadian Delegation meets Shri Bandaru Dattatreya Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 6:20 PM Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.