New Delhi: Several mineral blocks put on sale are not eliciting a response and Madhya Pradesh has cancelled the auction of 15 blocks while Chhattisgarh scrapped the sale of 10 mines, a government official said on Thursday. This comes amid the government recently expressing hope that 500 mines would be auctioned by 2024.
"We are also having issue that in many blocks state governments are not finding response," Mines Additional Secretary Sanjay Lohiya said during a conference on Indian mineral reforms organised by Assocham.
The official also stressed the need for creating awareness and asked companies to venture out of the states they are operating in as it would be good for them in the long run.
If the companies want to operate in the mineral sector, then they should realise they have to pump in money in the exploration of blocks.
"If you venture out in other states you will escape area limits and probably find better result there," the additional secretary explained.
Of the over 180 mines put on sale since the system of auctioning of mineral blocks began in 2015, the country sold 46 blocks last financial year and 36 mines have been auctioned in current fiscal year till date.
The government began the process of allocating mineral blocks through auctions in 2015-16. It is aiming to scale up the mining sector's contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from present 2.5 per cent to 5 per cent.
The government had earlier said the auction of mineral blocks has stabilised in the country.
State governments were getting a very good share of revenue from the auctions and the states which were early birds in the whole race were really happy.
The mines ministry had earlier said the amendment in the mineral auction rules will encourage competition that will ensure more participation in sale of blocks.
Ministry of Mines has notified the Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Second Amendment Rules, 2021, and the Mineral (Auction) Fourth Amendment Rules, 2021 to amend the Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Rules, 2015 and the Mineral (Auction) Rules, 2015, respectively.
The amendment rules have been framed after extensive consultations with states, industry associations, miners, other stakeholders and general public.
(With PTI inputs)