Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi on Thursday said the government might come out with some more reforms in the mining sector “very shortly”.
Joshi said that with the time several amendments have been made in rules concerning the mining sector as well and the mines ministry will continue to bring reforms further as per the demand of the industry.
“Very shortly, we may come out with some more reforms and I think some of them we are going to put in the public domain also and we will consult with the states and stakeholders,” said.
He was speaking during the International Mining Summit, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with the Ministry of Mines.
The government, he said, brought the Mines and Minerals. (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015, which provides for the actual resources through the auction route and further major amendments were brought this year also.
“We have resolved the legacy issue by amending Section 10(a)2b. This has made available about 500 potential mineral blocks… We have taken the decision and brought them (the blocks) to auction,” he said.
This year, in comparison to the previous years, a lot of mines have been brought into auction, he added.
The minister further emphasised that the government is keen to promote the best use of the country’s mineral reserves, a sustainable domestic mining industry, reduce imports and increase the mineral sector’s contribution to India’s gross domestic product (GDP) from the current 1.75 per cent to at least 2.5 per cent.
India’s mining sector contributes in many ways to the country’s economy, he said, adding that a little push to this sector will push the entire economy.
The minister highlighted that the Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Second Amendment Rules, 2021, and the Mineral (Auction) Fourth Amendment Rules, 2021, have been amended wherein the state governments concerned will be bound to consider and approve exploration proposals within 120 days.