Even as only nine non-coal blocks have successfully been auctioned, the mines ministry hopes mineral-rich states will put at least 45 additional blocks under the hammer in the remaining period of the current fiscal. Cumulatively, these blocks are expected to fetch Rs 2 lakh crore as revenue to the mineral-rich states such as Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha.
Following an amendment to the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015, which made allocation of mines through auctions mandatory, 30 mines (including nine in the current fiscal) have been successfully auctioned, but 38 proposed auctions had to be annulled due to poor investors’ interest. “We are working very hard to make it to 54 from just 9 so far in the current fiscal. Till March 31, 2017, 21 mines could have been auctioned since the amendment came into place. These 21 accrued Rs 1.08 lakh crore to the states,” said a senior mines ministry official. Companies such as Shree Cement, Vedanta and Dalmia Cement will pay the amount, which also includes contribution towards royalty, DMF and NMET, to the states over the lease period of 50 years.
States have lined up different mines including three molybdenum blocks in Tamil Nadu, one emerald mine in Madhya Pradesh. Iron ore and bauxite blocks are there as well. The official said apart from chaning the auction rules to make them more effective, the ministry is also talking to various states and doing the required hand-holding.