India’s mineral production increases by 1.4%
The Dollar Business Bureau India’s mineral production was to the tune of Rs 22,352 crore in March this year and the sector registered 1.4% growth in the past one year. The index of mineral production in the month of March this year was at 148.5, up 0.9% as compared to the same month in 2014. The cumulative growth for April- March 2014-15 over the corresponding period of the previous year stands at 1.4%, said a government data released on Thursday. The total value of mineral production, excluding atomic and minor minerals, during March this year was Rs 22,352 crore. Of them, the value of coal Rs 9,377 crore was the highest contributor. Coal and five other minerals— petroleum (crude), iron ore, natural gas (utilized), lignite and limestone – together contributed about 95% of the total value of mineral production in March 2015. Volume-wise, the production of major minerals in March were recorded as: coal 688 lakh tonnes, lignite 62 lakh tonnes, natural gas (utilized) 2,727 million cubic metres, petroleum (crude) 32 lakh tonnes, bauxite 1,585 thousand tonnes, gold 124 kg, and iron ore 122 lakh tonnes. The minerals showing positive growth during March this year over the corresponding month last year include zinc (38.3%), lead (28.0%), lignite (25.3%) magnesite (17.9%), coal’ (5.2%) and petroleum (1.7%). In order to ensure optimum use of mineral resources and curb wastage in the mining process, the government aims to make an institutional framework. Use of latest technology and enforcing rules to prevent unscientific mining are some of the measures that can check the misuse of underground resources, said Vishnu Deo Sai, Minister of State for Steel and Mines. The government is encouraging value addition in the mining sector through the use of latest technique of beneficiation, calibration, blending, concentration, pelletisation, and purification of products. To promote the mining sector, the government has also amended the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act 1957. As per the new norms, mineral concessions will now be granted through auction by competitive bidding. The law allows opening of mines that have been closed due to pendency of decision on applications for second or subsequent renewal through extension of validity of lease period of the existing leases. The amended law also provides security of tenure of mining lease period of 50 years. Apart from simplifying procedure for grant of mining lease, the new law also has provisions for setting up of the National Mineral Exploration Trust, a dedicated fund to encourage exploration to augment mineral resources. In order to regulate the grant of mineral concessions in states, the central government has empowered state governments in respect of 31 minerals notified under ‘minor’ category. As per the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, state governments have been empowered to make rules for prevention of illegal mining. However, the ministry of mines has taken several measures to check illegal mining in the country. Steps taken by the Centre include regular monitoring of framing of state rules, setting up of task forces at state and district level and coordinating with the State Coordination-cum-Empowered Committee (SCEC) to control illegal mining by engaging representatives of railways, customs and port authorities. Apart from setting up check posts, the Ministry of Railways has instituted a mechanism to allow transportation of iron ore only against permits issued rake-wise and verified by state governments. The Customs Department has also issued instructions to all its field units to share information on iron ore exports with the state governments. The Ministry of Shipping has directed all major ports in the country to streamline the verification procedures for movement of iron ore. Indian Bureau of Mines has constituted special task forces for inspection of mines with the help of satellite imageries.
May 14, 2015 | 7:48 pm IST.