Centre, states to review mines auction progress

New Delhi: A high-level meeting chaired by union mines minister Narendra Singh Tomar and state ministers in charge of mining will review the progress of mines auction among other issues this Friday.
The meeting, to be held in Jaipur, is second such high-level meet of mining ministers of all the states for deliberating on issues of governance in the sector. The first meeting took place in January last year, mines ministry said.
“Key issues for discussion include the preparedness for e-auction of major mineral blocks, management of District Mineral Foundations (DMF), National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET), effective ways of curbing illegal mining, adoption of IT for mineral administration, etc,” the ministry added.
“This high level meeting of state mining ministers will enable intensive discussion on the issues, challenges and opportunities in the mining sector to realise its optimum potential and provide an effective platform to showcase the recent policy initiatives of the centre,” it added.
Last month, on the sidelines of the first Maritime India Summit in Mumbai, Tomar had said that states will offer 100 additional mines bearing minerals such as iron ore, bauxite and limestone for auction by 2016-end.
Seven months after auction process was initiated for 47 mines across 12-mineral bearing states, only six blocks have managed to find buyers — prompting the centre to direct states to put in “greater efforts”.
States had identified 47 mines bearing minerals such as iron ore, bauxite, gold and limestone for auction in the first phase. Only six mines have been auctioned, which will earn a revenue, including royalties, of Rs 18,146 crore.