Process of auction of mineral leases expiring in 2020 being expedited: Tomar

Panaji, Jan 19 : Extraction from mining leases which expire in 2020 will continue with as little hindrance as possible as the central government is already in the process of expediting the auctioning of the mining leases, Union Minister for Mines Narendra Singh Tomar said on Friday.

Tomar, who chaired a meeting of mines ministers from across the country and top state and central mining ministry officials, also said that 72 mineral blocks would be auctioned in 2017-18, while 51 blocks would be auctioned in the following fiscal.

"The Centre and state governments have unanimously decided that the auctioning process of these mines, whose leases expire in 2020, should begin right away so that they are auctioned before their expiry date and production does not stop," Tomar told reporters after chairing the meeting in Panaji on Friday.

The Minister said the Geological Survey of India (GSI) had identified 100 mineral blocks for future exploration, out of which 58 would be explored by GSI and the Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited would explore 30 blocks.

"Other public sector units of the central government would be taking up the remaining 12 mineral blocks," he said.

Tomar said that auction of 33 blocks in the first phase had already generated revenue of Rs 1.28 lakh crore for state governments in whose jurisdiction the blocks were located.

He said that since the National Democratic Alliance government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office, the use of technology had curbed the phenomenon of illegal mining.

"After the new government was formed, the mining sector thanks to the resolute-mindedness of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has now become transparent.

There are strong deterrents to stop illegal mining in the act itself. New techniques and technology are being used to stop illegal mining, because of this illegal mining is restrained," the Union Minister added.



Source: IANS