Beach Minerals Producers Association urges PM Modi to put on hold implementation of AMCR

Beach Minerals

Jul 15 2016

Beach Minerals Producers Association urges PM Modi to put on hold implementation of AMCR

BMPA has urged the PM to put on hold the implementation of the first AMCR, while seeking time from him to discuss threadbare the issues facing the industry. The association has said the rules, if implemented, would to stifle the industry led mainly by private players and lead to a loss of over 1 lakh jobs. These minerals are basic raw materials for developing modern technology products, ranging from mobile phones to electric cars to defense guidance systems. Incidentally, AMCR is a new concept and no such rule existed prior to the MMDR Act Amendment, 2015. There are only two government beach sand mineral players — Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL) and Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd (KMML).

In a letter to the PM, the association said: “If the AMCR is implemented in its present form, almost all existing private players will be forced to close operations, resulting in huge losses and loss of employment to about 50,000 in areas of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, which are rich in these minerals.

India imported about Rs 4,000 crore worth of BSM and value-added products in 2015 even as private players have been operating. When the draft AMCR was published in April 2016, BMPA represented its e concerns to the Ministry of Mines. Since most BSM mines are located in Tamil Nadu, the state government also represented its problems. However, these issues were not addressed and no discussions were held with stakeholders before finalizing the rules. The mines ministry went ahead and released the AMCR in Raipur on July 4, 2016.

Earlier, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) opened the sector to wholly-owned Indian companies to boost beach sand minerals output, since production to reserve ratio was less than 0.001 with only public sector companies working in this sector. This had led to a manifold increase in production of beach sand minerals. During 2015, India’s production to reserve ratio improved to 0.0018 – an 80% increase. Besides, export value soared from Rs 35 crore in 1998 to Rs 4,500 crore in 2015, resulting in substantial rise in exports.

Out of the 81 BSM mining leases, 72 are with the private sector, which is also in the value addition of ilmenite, with preliminary work for zircon value addition in progress. BMPA said if India achieves the production to reserve ratio of 0.01, it can create direct employment of three lakh while providing another five lakh indirect jobs. It would generate a total turnover of over Rs 90,000 crore, some Rs 20,000 crore accruing to the government in the form of revenue.

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