Sunday, August 7, 2022

Exploration, production policy should be liberalised for metals, minerals: Anil Agarwal

Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal on Monday said that India's exploration and production policy should be liberalised for a wide range of metals and minerals

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New Delhi: Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal on Monday said that India’s exploration and production policy should be liberalised for a wide range of metals and minerals. The country continues to pay hefty import bills year after year even as the nation is gifted with significant reserves of metals and minerals, the metals and mining magnate noted.

“It is becoming critical for India to liberalise its exploration and production policy for a wide range of metals, rare metals, minerals, and hydrocarbons,” Agarwal said in a statement.

Robust domestic production will also insulate India from any global crisis, encourage entrepreneurship, create a large number of jobs and create a vibrant ecosystem, he said.

India, he said, can produce oil at one-fourth of the import price similar to Cairn providing oil at USD 26 to the government.

The country’s import bill from crude oil to copper has risen sharply this year due to a rise in global commodity prices as well as depreciation in the rupee.

The country, he said, is a powerhouse of talent and on the path of making advances in the world of technology, research, and innovation.

“Our economic growth is powered by a combination of legacy industries and start-ups. Encouraging our start-ups & entrepreneurs to put their energy on the work without fear and hurdles will create massive jobs and massive revenue for the government.

“They can be encouraged to do exploration with the latest technologies like artificial intelligence, automation, and data analytics, by receiving funding from private equity and selling their licenses post-discovery. This can also lead to affordable oil and gas in India in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision.”

This is the time when all the mine leases should be granted for a minimum of 50 years for better planning and execution by the companies, Agarwal said.

All existing mines, which were explored by the private sector but where work has been stopped, should be given back to them.

“… we cannot afford to stop production. A well-functioning mines and minerals sector will have a big role to play if we want to realise our dream of not just 5 trillion dollars but a 15-20 trillion dollar economy in the next two decades,” he said.

(With Agency inputs)

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