New Delhi: The Union Government approved on Thursday the introduction of a Bill in the Parliament to amend the Mines Act, 1952 . The Bill proposes to amend the law relating to regulation of condition of work and welfare of persons employed in the mining sector. The Act was last amended in 1983.
The bill proposes that that every person who contracts for the services or operations in a mine, and includes a contractor and sub-contractor, shall be considered the ’owner.’ Considering the risk factors involved in mining, the bill enhanced penalties by about 100 times, so that the offender is not let off with a token penalty, as is mostly the case. The mining bill has generated intense media debate over its 26% profit sharing clause and over the proposal to separate the mining accounts of integrated steel plants.