A meeting of the Consultative Committee for Ministry of Mines and Coal was held today in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The meeting was chaired by Shri Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister of Mines, Coal and Parliamentary Affairs and was attended by Members of Parliament; Shri Vivek Bharadwaj, Secretary ,Mines, Shri Amrit Lal Meena, Secretary ,Coal and other Senior officers.
Consultative Committee for Ministry of Mines and Coal has been constituted by Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs to provide a forum for informal discussion between the Members of the Parliament and the Union Minister on the policies and the working of the Ministries.
Agenda of the meeting for the Ministry of the Mines was Mining Reforms and their Impacts and Action Plan for auction of 500 mineral blocks by 2023-24. After the introductory remarks by Shri Vivek Bharadwaj, Secretary, Ministry of Mines, a brief presentation on the subject was made by Dr. Veena Kumar Dermal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Mines.
She highlighted that since the landmark reforms made in 2015 to introduce auction as the method of allocation of mineral resources in the country, 214 mineral blocks have been auctioned. It was also informed that Number of blocks auctioned per year has increased three times since 2021 amendment. As compared to auction of 108 blocks in six years from 2015 to 2021, 106 blocks have been auctioned in one and half years since April, 2021.
The auctioned blocks which have been operationalized have resulted in increase in revenues of the States such as Odisha, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Although, number of working auctioned mines is miniscule (36) in comparison to working non-auctioned mines (405), the premium collection from auctioned mines is surpassing the royalty collection from all the working mines. For 2021-22, total auction premium from the auctioned mines was Rs. 21,148.04 Crores in three States (Odisha, Karnataka & AP) as compared to Rs.21,267.64 Crores from royalty of all the working mines. The same trend could be seen for the current financial year also.
The amendment in the Act also removed restrictions on transfer of mineral concessions which has enabled transfer of mining leases in nine cases. This has enabled transfer of mining leases in case of disinvestment of PSUs for example, Nilachal Ispat Ltd. was disinvested Rs.12,100 Crore and it is also facilitating merger and acquisitions in the sector.
National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) has been established to provide necessary financial support to mineral exploration in the country. Till July, 2022, Rs. 1,809.42 cr. has been approved for various projects and Rs. 477.16 cr. has been spent from NMET fund in various exploration activities. In the year 2021-22 alone, record amount of Rs.751.43 cr. was approved and Rs. 124.71 cr. was spent in exploration of mineral resources.
It was also briefed to the Members of the Committee that till September, 2022, Rs. 70,107 cr. has been collected in District Mineral Foundations (DMFs) and 2,52,995 projects worth Rs. 63,534 cr. has been sanctioned for various activities for welfare of persons and areas affected by mining related operations.
Members of the Parliament appreciated the efforts made by the Ministry of Mines in reforming the sector. They also gave valuable suggestions regarding the guidelines related to DMFs for effective utilization of funds for mining affected areas and the inhabitants. The Minister of Mines assured the members that all the suggestions would be deliberated for further necessary action.
(Release ID: 1874782)
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