A national meeting of the Ministers in-charge of Mining Department of all State Governments has been convened under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister of Mines Shri Narendra Singh Tomar in Jaipur on 27th May 2016 to discuss the key issues pertaining to the mining sector.
This would be the second such meeting of the Mining Ministers of all the States for discussing the issues at the highest level of governance in the mining sector.
The Jaipur national meeting of the Mining Ministers would provide an appropriate platform to discuss, review and firm up the way-ahead in expediting the pace of reforms initiated by the MMDR (Amendment) Act effective from 15.01.2015 and its adoption in respect of minor minerals as well. This high level meeting of the States’ Mining Ministers will enable intensive discussion on the issues, challenges and opportunities in the mining sector to realize its optimum potential and provide an effective platform to showcase the recent policy initiatives of the Government of India. It will also help the Central Government to take feedback on further improvements in the policy environment in the mining sector.
The inaugural session will be chaired by the Union Minister of Steel & Mines Shri Narendra Singh Tomar. It is expected that 11 Ministers from respective states who have confirmed their participation would detail the efforts of the State Governments for promoting ease of doing business in the mining sector. They will highlight the key issues which the States may have encountered during the implementation of the reforms in mining and minerals sector. The Union Secretary Mines, Shri Balvender Kumar will start the discussion with a presentation apprising the States about the key issues of the mining sector and their current status.
The 2nd session of the one-day meet would be a technical session to be chaired by Union Secretary (Mines) Shri Balvender Kumar, wherein all the key issues of the mining sector will be discussed in depth amongst the officials of Mines Departments across all States and help in exchange of experiences and information.
The key issues for discussion include the preparedness for e-auction of major mineral blocks, management of District Mineral Foundations (DMF), National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET), minor mineral rules, effective ways of curbing illegal mining, adoption of IT/newer technology for mineral administration, extension of Mining Leases & timely processing of Saved Mining Lease Applications before 11.01.2017.
So far, Mining Ministers of the 11 States have confirmed their participation for the meeting. Besides this, a total of 12 more States have confirmed their participation through the senior officers’ In-charge of the Mining Departments.
The meeting is being organized by the Ministry of Mines, through active participation and co-ordination by Geological Survey of India (GSI), National Aluminium Company Ltd. (NALCO) & Hindustan Copper Ltd. (HCL). The Mining Department of the State of Rajasthan is the co-host of this national event.
The first meeting of the Mining Ministers was held on the 19th of January 2015, immediately after the MMDR Amendment Ordinance was implemented. The first meeting was extremely fruitful in firming up the strategy for implementation of the unfolding policy paradigm based on maxim of fostering transparency and realization of fair value.
More than a year has passed since the reforms have been actuated. During this period the Central Government has come out with needed sub-ordinate legislation and other auction templates, based on which several blocks have been put up on auction by the State Governments and the NMET & DMFs have been constituted. Furthermore, newer technologies such as information technology & space technology are being adopted for efficient and good mineral regulation and administration. For making this path breaking programme a success, close collaboration with the State agencies is warranted. These all issues are on the agenda for discussion with the States for firming up credible and time bound action plan for effective implementation of reforms in the context of major minerals and also roll out a similar regime based on transparency in dealing with grant of concessions of minor minerals by the States.