While he encouraged the developmental activities of the mining sector in providing livelihood in backward areas, he said there should be no compromise when it comes to safety.
In an address to stakeholders of the mining sector, AK Nayak, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Mines, said that there is a need to expedite the process of auction of mines. While special mining zones with in-built clearances may make it easier, he acknowledged that progress has been tardy.
"The pace of progress of auctions need to improve," Nayak said at the event.
He added that the National Mineral Policy 2019 aims at 200 percent rise in production from the mining sector. Nayak said there is a need to reduce the import bill and maximise mining production in the country. The policy aims to bring down trade deficit in the mining sector by 50%.
He emphasised on the need to increase share of the contribution of mining to 10% of the GDP in the next 5-7 years. At present, the mining sector contributes 2.6% to the GDP.
Rahul Sharma, CEO, Alumina Business of Vedanta Group, said that exploration of mines in India is hardly at 10-12 percent. "We have enough reserves, the time has come to open up the mining sector," he said.
In response, Nayak said that exploration of deep seated minerals is a priority for the government. He also urged the industry to carry out mining in a sustainable manner and not exhaust resources. To encourage sustainable practices, he suggested that incentives may be given to businesses to use low grade minerals and mixing of rich and low grade minerals.
While he encouraged the developmental activities of the mining sector in providing livelihood in backward areas, he said there should be no compromise when it comes to safety. "There will be zero tolerance on issues of safety," he said.He said that small mining companies face an issue in procuring advanced technologies. He suggested a consortium of companies may be set up for a particular mineral to make capital and technology flow easier.The Great Diwali Discount!
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