While addressing the Inaugurating CII Global Mining Summit and International Mining & Machinery Expo 2020 (organised virtually), Shri Pralhad Joshi, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal & Mines, Government of India said that the mining industry is core to India’s growth ambition of achieving a USD 5 Trillion economy and contributes in many ways to the country’s economy which includes direct contribution to the GDP, indirect contribution through development of downstream industries and employment. He added that India produces as many as 95 minerals, which includes 4 fuel, 10 metallic, 23 non-metallic, 3 atomic and 55 minor minerals and there has been a pronounced growth in the mineral production both in terms of quantity and value.
Shri Joshi said added that around 72% of India’s current power is being generated through coal and the mining industry ensures energy security and provides basic building blocks of manufactured products and agri-inputs. He asserted that there should be effort to promote domestic industry and reduce import dependency as the sector has a pivotal role to play in the 'Make in India Make for the World' vision of the Prime Minister.
Hon’ble Minister added mineral resource allocation should be done in a fair and transparent manner to ensure equitable distribution of mineral wealth. The Ministry said that prioritising ensuring regulatory framework is conducive for ease of doing business with simpler, transparent and time-bound procedures for doing business. Shri Joshi said that mining needs to be carried out in an environmentally sustainable manner, providing benefits to the mining affected persons.
He further said that exploration needs to be strongly incentivized and with the mining-sector reforms and the recent launch of commercial coal block auction as another transformational agenda, growth can be fast-tracked in the country. He emphasised that opening of coal sector to private players will generate jobs, reduce dependence on fuel import, stimulate the economy and catalyse the country's path towards a USD 5-trillion economy. He said that Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the virtual auction process for 41 coal blocks for commercial mining, which is expected to garner Rs 33,000 crore of capital investment in the country over next 5-7 years. He highlighted that FDI caps in the mining and exploration of metal and non-metal ores have been increased to 100% under the automatic route.
To ensure the seamless supply of the minerals, Shri Joshi informed that the Ministry of Mines is engaged to strengthen its cooperation in the area of geology and mineral resources with mineral rich countries. The New National Mineral Policy will ensure more effective regulation leading to sustainable mining sector development in future while addressing the issues of projects.
He said that in line with transparent auctioning of mineral resources, the government brought in MMDR Act. He highlighted that a large number of working mines expired in March 2020 for which the Ministry took a proactive and biggest industry friendly step of transferring all statutory clearances to the new lessees by promulgating an ordinance.
He further shared that with this ordinance, Odisha recently completed successful the auction of large number of iron ore mines. Hon’ble Minister said that non-serious players who are delaying the production will be dealt seriously and stringent provisions to terminate and barring such players from future auctions are being considered. The Ministry is committed to ensure the auction of mineral resources of the country is complete success and generate revenue and employment to the state governments, he added.
The Minister also added that the Ministry is considering structural reforms in mining with the aim to increase the contribution of mining in GDP and create large scale employment opportunities. These reforms will increase participation of the private sector in exploration, redefine norms of exploration for auction of mineral blocks to ensure a seamless transition from exploration to production, redefine the standard of exploration required for auctioning of blocks for prospecting license-cum mining lease, open acreage licensing policy for allocation of mining rights which will give a major boost to the production of minerals in the country.
During his address, Mr Pramod Agrawal, Chairman & Managing Director, Coal India Limited said that mining is an important driver of economic growth of the country and contributes 2% to the country’s GDP and has a multiplier effect in the economy. He added that in order to help grow the mining activity, it needs to be sustainable through reducing air, water pollution and reducing the carbon footprint which could be achieved through imbibing mechanisation and digitization in mining operations.
Dr D K Hota, Chairman – BEML, said that Covid-19 has provided an excellent opportunity to develop an Atmanirbhar Mineral and Mining Equipment industry which would be helped by the recent reforms being conducted by the Government.
Hon Barry O’Farrell AO, Australian High Commissioner to India, emphasized that India and Australia share many complementarities and said that mining resources are major sectors driving the economy of the two countries.
Mr Sunil Duggal , Chairman, CII National Committee on Mining & Group Chief Executive Officer, Vedanta Limited, during his address said that it is most important for prospective investors. is certainty and uniformity in policies. Investor confidence in India is at a high. Now is a perfect opportunity to migrate to a regime where there is uniformity, where the logic of ease of doing business that is applied to prospective blocks equally applies to existing blocks. In the end, if production grows rapidly and more efficiently, the Government is the biggest winner because of additional royalties, taxes, reduced import bill and contribution to jobs and GDP.
During his Welcome Address, Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General – Confederation of Indian Industry, said that the minerals and mining industry is a critical growth driver and serves as the base for the power, manufacturing and agriculture sectors in India. He added that India needs an evolving and growth-oriented mining and mineral development policy to foster sustainable growth in the sector.
IMME 2020 – it is the 15th edition of The International mining and machinery exhibition and this is the first time it is being organised on the virtual platform due to COVID-19. The participation at the exhibition has been excellent. There are more than 135 exhibitors (66 Indian companies and 69 foreign exhibitors) participating with over 1000+ products and services on display on the virtual platform. Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII mentioned in his opening remarks that the event has tremendous interest and participation from the International stakeholders from the mining industry. Australia participating as the Partner Country, Germany being the Focus Country and Country Pavilions from United Kingdom and Czech Republic. He also thanked AUSTRADE, VDMA, Association of British Mining Equipment, Embassy of the Czech Republic, CDT - Czech Extraction & Mining technology and Trade and Investment Queensland for their active interest and support for the event as their presence has made a considerable difference to the event.
The virtual mining exhibition will be live for a period of two months from today and all efforts are being made to get international buyers in addition to buyers from India. Companies could connect to the participating companies virtually , have clear understanding on products and services that will help the Industry stay competitive and cost effective.
2 December 2020