Union mines minister Narendra Singh Tomar has called a meeting on January 19 to discuss with state governments a range of issues, including auction of 348 mining leases expiring in 2020. “It was felt that an interaction at the ministerial level shall give further impetus to this sector. I am therefore convening a meeting of the ministers in-charge of the mining departments of major mineral states on January 19 in Goa,” Tomar said in a letter to various states like Karanataka, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. The Union minister further said that the issues that would come up for deliberation include auction preparedness, bidding of the mining leases expiring in 2020 and status of ‘District Mineral Foundation’ collection. The deliberations at the meeting, he said, will help the Centre to further improve the policy environment and address different issues facing the mining sector.
“I request you to kindly attend the meeting…Your presence will strengthen our efforts in enabling the mining sector to contribute its fullest to foster economic growth and employment generation under the vision of ‘Make in India’,” Tomar said in his letter addressed to ministers in-charge of the mining departments of states. With a total of 348 non-captive mining leases expiring in 2020, the Centre had earlier directed states to begin auction by next year. The mines ministry had stated that the objective is to give successful bidders time to obtain various clearances before commencing mining operations.