In order to curb irregularities in the mining sector, the section 23C of the MMDR (Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 empowers states to frame appropriate rules.
The union government asked states to introduce rules under this section to prevent illegal mining, transportation and storage of minerals.
The Act provides a penalty of imprisonment for a term up to two years or a fine extending to Rs 25,000 or both for firms indulging in illegal mining and causing a loss of revenue to the state government from royalty, rents or taxes.
The centre asked states to follow the initiatives taken by
the Rajasthan government in framing rules in this regard. Most states have failed to frame rules to curb illegal mining.
Union government wants states to frame rules covering issues pertaining to railways, ports, customs and excise, among others.
The act empowers state governments to recover not only the price of minerals mined illegally, in case the mineral is disposed of, but also the royalty and rent or taxes, as may be payable for the mineral mined illegally from an area.
According to official data, a total of 94,599 cases of illegal mining had surfaced in 2011-12, while the number during the last fiscal was equally high.