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New royalty rates for minerals in August

Indian government will finalize new royalty rates for major minerals other than coal, lignite and sand by August this year, which will boost its revenues significantly.

Mines Minister Dinsha Patel told PTI that "We have formed a committee to review royalty rates. The committee is having extensive meetings with all stakeholders, including state governments. By August, new royalty rates will come.”

Mr Patel said the states are already calibrating royalty in such a fashion that it is enhanced significantly. Furthermore, there are provisions for hiking the royalty rate in the new Mines Bill that is likely to be passed by June.

On the demand for higher royalty from states, Mr Patel said the new Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2011, will address their concerns.

The new Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Bill makes it mandatory for coal miners to share 26% of their profit and others an amount equivalent to the royalty amount with project affected people.

Meanwhile, a key official in the expert group to formulate new rates said the views of the state governments and the industry carry a lot of weight and will be considered while fixing the same.

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