With reference to the management of minor minerals in India, consider the following statements:
- Sand is a ‘minor mineral’ according to the prevailing law in the country.
- State Governments have the power to grant mining leases of minor minerals, but the powers regarding the formation of rules related to the grant of minor minerals lie with the Central Government.
- State Governments have the power to frame rules to prevent illegal mining of minor minerals.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2019 Prelims]
(a) 1 and 3 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
- Sand is classified as a minor mineral under section 3 (e) of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act), making the first statement correct.
- State governments are authorized by section 15 of the MMDR Act to establish regulations for granting mineral concessions for minor minerals, including those connected with this purpose, and are thus responsible for their administration and legislation. This makes the second statement incorrect.
- State governments have been able to formulate their own regulations for minor mineral concession in accordance with the authority granted to them by section 15 of the MMDR Act.
- Under section 23C of the MMDR Act, 1957, state governments can also establish regulations aimed at stopping the illicit mining, transportation, and storage of minerals, as well as other purposes related to this. This makes the third statement correct.
Therefore, option (a) is the correct answer.