The Centre is expected to present an amendment bill that would allow for an auction of minerals mined offshore in the upcoming session of the Parliament.
According to reports, the objective of this move is “to use the national wealth in the sea for the use of the people of the country”. The reason for this move is that the original Offshore Mining Act did not include provisions for mineral auctions. The current procedure is the auction. Therefore, revision was needed in the Act and the government is now taking all steps towards this.
It may be recalled that the Offshore Areas Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act was enacted in 2002. However, not even a single rock could be mined out from the sea-bed mainly due to pending litigations.
As per the official information, the consultations to amend the act are already done and a bill is likely to be introduced in the forthcoming Monsoon session of Parliament. These amendments will help in full utilisation of the natural wealth which lies with the country along its coast.