New Delhi: Intensifying its drive against the large-scale illegal mining, the Centre has decided to present a new Mines and Minerals Development Regularity (MMDR) Bill in the monsoon session of Parliament.

Once MMDR Law comes into effect, a fine worth Rs 15 lakh can be slapped on the firms found guilty of illegal mining.

The Group of Ministers (GoM) has recently approved the draft of the new MMDR Bill, which will soon be placed before the Union Cabinet for its approval.

If the Bill is passed by both the houses of Parliament, it will be referred to the Standing Committee.

In the recent few months, illegal mining has emerged as a controversial and political issue. Owing to the laid back attitude of different states, the Centre has failed to check the menace of illegal mining.

Illegal mining of coal has been reported for a long time in the states like Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.

The proposed Bill mentions that if a firm continues with the mining after the stipulated deadline ends, the offence will attract a jail term of upto a year and a with cash fine.

(JPN/Bureau)