Bangalore, 18 September 2014: “MMDR Act amendment Bill will be brought in the forthcoming session of Parliament. Detailed Guidelines for mineral concessions will also be issued soon in the coming weeks.” This was stated by the Union Minister for Steel, Mines, Labour & Employment, NS Tomar today, in his inaugural address at the Mining & Exploration Convention & Trade Show in Bangalore. Geologists, mining engineers, policy-makers, investors, technology providers and industrialists from India and abroad are taking part in this 3-day programme.
Tomar further said, “Our Government is working to totally transform the image of mining sector in India. We have a three-pronged approach to this, to foster transparency, simplification and development, so that all processes are simpler and faster, and every person can get his work done without any prejudice. As was said by Prime Minister, Modi, we need to move away from the thinking that if I do something, what is in it for me. We need to think as to how will the country benefit and move forward if I do something. This change in mindset is a must. Then only we can progress in the field of mining or any other field. Together all of us will have to make mining sector so development and growth oriented that others should feel proud to be associated with this sector. We should encourage responsible mining, so that courts and commissions do not need to intervene”.
He said that, In fact, if we see after agriculture, mining is one area where opportunities to create employment are immense. But mining & minerals sector is passing through a challenging phase. Increasing cost of exploration, decrease in grade quality, environmental challenges, expectations from society, lack of skilled manpower, health and safety issues are some of the challenges the sector is facing. In recent past, import of some minerals has become higher than their export, which is not a desirable situation considering our vast mineral resources. Even after 66 years, such a situation is indeed not desirable. But the present government is trying to improve the situation at the earliest. Therefore, all other stakeholders should also come forward and join hands in making the mining sector, a progressive and respectable sector.
The Minister said that Central government is trying to expedite the pending mining clearances. We have asked the state governments also through face-to-face meetings and written communication, to speed up the clearances. The government is also trying to encourage use of latest technology in the field of mining, specially underground mining, to minimise impact on environment and for faster development of the sector. Proper assessment and exploration of available mineral resources is also our priority, so that public, private, domestic and foreign institutions can contribute to the development and progress of the sector.
Tomar also released a special report on mining on this occasion. This programme from 18th-20thSeptember, has been organized by Federation of Mineral Industries and Mines Ministry.