Auction of mineral blocks with pre-embedded clearances to attract huge investments: Ficci

NEW DELHI: Industry body Ficci on Friday welcomed the Centre’s guidelines to auction mineral blocks with pre-embedded clearances and said the move will attract huge investments.

Increased investments in the mining and metals sector can make the country self-reliant, reduce import bills by USD 100 billion and create multiple jobs, it added.

“Ficci welcomes the Ministry of Mines…guidelines for auctioning of mineral blocks with pre-embedded clearances for mining projects,” the industry body said in a statement.

Thanking the ministry for accepting Ficci’s recommendation for expediting the operationalisation of mines post auctioning, Tuhin Mukherjee, chair, Ficci Mining Committee and Managing Director, Essel Mining and Industries, said, “The guidelines would help in increasing the mineral production and supply in the country providing the much needed raw material minerals to the end use industries like steel, aluminium, power, cement etc.”

The auction of mineral blocks with pre-embedded clearances is another significant reform taken by the government, Ficci Mining Committee Co-Chair Rahul Sharma said.

The concept of pre-embedded clearance for mining projects is really a positive step towards reaching self-reliance in the mineral space, Ficci Mining Committee Co-Chair Pankaj Satija said.

“Coming at a time when the country needs to hike up mineral production to support the resurgence of mineral based manufacturing sectors post COVID-19, this will certainly boost investment in the sector and ensure faster returns by guaranteeing commencement of production in quick time,” he said.

Awarding leases through a fair and transparent manner is very crucial. However, due to multiple approvals required, operationalisation of mines had been getting delayed, Ficci Mining Committe Co-Chair Sumit Deb said.

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Ninety five leases have been allocated through auction since the introduction of auctioning regime. However, only a couple of those have been executed due to lengthy approval processes, he said.

Unlike some of the major mining economies which take about a year to operationalise a mining lease, it takes four to eight years in India. Thus, auction of mineral blocks with pre-embedded clearances is a welcome step, Deb said.

“It would fast track the operationalisation of mines which in turn would lead to employment generation, increased revenue for the state and increase the contribution of mining to Indian GDP which has been declining gradually for over a decade,” Deb added.

Ficci noted that with such initiatives, the government has shown its commitment to usher in the much-needed reforms in the mining sector and revive its growth post COVID-19.



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