India needs more foreign investment in mining sector
India’s mining sector will attract huge investments from within the country and abroad and generate additional employment in the next few years, said Vishnu Deo Sai, Minister of State for Steel & Mines. “We must start looking overseas for mining assets acquisition to gain global competitive advantage. There should be more of exchange visits and participation in international mining events to increase the exchange of information, best practices and technology transfer while promoting the skill development and joint ventures” Sai said at a conference on ‘Indian Mining Industry: A Landscape of New Opportunities’ in New Delhi on Thursday. This will fulfill the demand for various metals and minerals enhancing their growth by 4-5times over the medium term perspective in the country, besides also mounting the mining industry’s contribution to the country’s GDP to the level of 5-6%, he added. The conference that was held in the backdrop of the Amended Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 2015 witnessed key announcement regarding auctioning of minerals in the country. The government to start auctioning of minerals by year-end with approximately 70 leases planned for the first phase and the states are now finalizing the modalities for the process, said the Minister. He also said that the Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL) has prepared nearly 58 geological reports of detailed exploration, which will be offered to state governments to help them expedite the auction process. Speaking on governmental initiatives, Balvinder Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Mines, said that the draft exploration policy, which is in public domain would be revised soon to include some critical aspects. Kumar said that the government was also gearing up for MECL and GSI to give more blocks for auction. Besides, concession on customs duty was also being considered to allow import of exploration equipment in the country, said the Secretary, adding that MECL and state PSUs would be encouraged to enter into joint ventures with global players for exploration. He said that a separate policy for deep seated minerals such as diamond and gold was being considered, which would lead to amendment in MMDR Act.
November 20, 2015 |3:00pm IST