Noting that there has been delay in auction of mines in Odisha, the Centre today asked the state government to take steps for putting 7-8 blocks on auction as early as possible.
“We have requested the state government to put 7-8 mining blocks on auction as early as possible,” Secretary Ministry of Mines, Balvinder Kumar told reporters after meeting Odisha Chief Secretary A P Padhi here.
Stating that auction of mines has been delayed in the state, Kumar said problems relating to conversion of mining blocks from G-3 to G-2 level of exploration has been cited as a reason behind the delay.
This apart, there are some internal problems, he said, adding that the Chief Secretary has assured the Centre that necessary steps would be taken to put some mining blocks on auction within a month.
The Mines Secretary made it clear that no issue was pending before the Centre as far as delay is concerned.
As per auction rules, the state government needs to upgrade mining blocks from G-3 level of exploration to G-2 level before putting it for auction, sources said, adding one mining block in the state has been put to auction so far.
Referring to aluminium sector, Kumar said the need to enhance aluminium production in Odisha, for which these industries require bauxite in the state, was also discussed.
The proposed aluminium park in the state was also discussed, the mines secretary said, adding that Navaratna PSU Nalco and the state government would work out mechanism to determine the cost at which primary aluminium would be supplied to the industries.
Some issues were also raised by the state government and the Centre would try to resolve them soon, he said.
Stating that Nalco is ready for assisting in the development of Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri, he said it is very important for the aluminium major as well as the pilgrim town. Nalco would also take up several CSR activities in that area.
Regarding District Mineral Foundation (DMF), Kumar said it is making good progress in the state and some activities have been taken up.