New Delhi: Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi inaugurated the second State Mining Ministers’ Conference in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh Tuesday. The Conference is yet another step in the direction of making India’s mineral sector ‘Aatma Nirbhar’ and promoting Sustainable Mining in the country. The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Dr Mohan Yadav was the Chief Guest of the event and several Mines Ministers of other states also graced the conference. More than 80 Secretary level officers, Principal Secretaries/ Special Secretaries (Mines), and DGMs/DMGs from 28 States participated, along with the officials of the Ministries of Mines and Coal.
Addressing the conference, Joshi emphasized on self-reliant mining sector. He said that the reforms initiated by the Ministry of Mines will strengthen the mining sector as it will contribute to the economic growth of the nation. The recent reforms have led to Ease of doing business in the mining sector. The Minister further added that to support the shift to green energy, last month the Ministry has placed 20 critical mineral blocks for auction. It will not only support the energy transition but also create opportunities for state governments to earn more revenue. He further said that exploration of mineral blocks has been facilitated to aid the auction of blocks and the sector has been made more progressive to increase the production of minerals.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that all the states including Madhya Pradesh will benefit from the reforms and initiatives undertaken in the mining sector by the Ministry of Mines. There are many hidden possibilities in our rich underground resources, implementation of these reforms and adoption of innovations will strengthen the States economically. The transparent and accountable system implemented in the mining process will further increase credibility of the mining sector, he said.
Union Minister and the Chief Minister also visited the exhibition “Beyond Mining” organized on the sidelines of the Conference. Union Minister visited stall of HCL wherein he was informed that HCL has provided 70,000 Nos. of copper strips and 775 nos. of copper wire rods of 99.99 percent purity for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Both strips and wire rods have been used in Ram Mandir construction for joining rocks. They visited NIRM stall also where it was showcased that NIRM was involved in quality inspection of the stones used in the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
With the increased focus on mineral eeploration and processing, Ministry of Mines is trying to hand over more mineral blocks to State Governments for auction. In this regard the Minister of Mines handed over a total of 87 Mineral Exploration reports which contain 50 G2/G3 reports and 37 G4 geological memorandums to State Governments. The notification of rules to implement the Exploration License (EL) regime was unveiled, along with finalization of 20 mineral blocks to be handed over to State Governments to kick-start the EL auction process. Thirteen offshore mineral block reports were also handed over for auction. Another 16 heavy mineral blocks were handed over to the Department of Atomic Energy and five blocks of construction sand to the Administering Authority. Newly notified private exploration agencies were handed over with the accreditation certificates.
Joshi launched Average Sale Price (ASP) module, an online platform where the real-time data of submitted returns is automatically fetched from the returns module (ibmreturns.gov.in). Overall this system facilitates the ease of doing business and cuts down the time to generate the ASP. Now, ASP for the previous month can be released in the next month itself. The Minister also launched a New template for Star Rating of Mines, an online platform based on the industry feedback and the experience of previous years, new star rating templates have been prepared for small mines and large mines separately instead of common star rating templates for all the mines, from the year 2023-24.