Minister of Mines and Steel Narendra Singh Tomar said that appropriate steps will be taken by the government on continuous basis to ensure that the stress in the steel sector in the country is appropriately addressed.
“We are in continuous touch with the stakeholders to understand various related issues and are trying to ameliorate their problems, within the framework of a deregulated steel sector,” he said in the meetings of the Consultative Committee for the Ministries of Steel and Mines on ‘Challenges in Steel Sector’ and ‘Reforms in Mining sector’ here on Monday.
On the ‘Challenges in the Steel Sector’ Tomar said that India’s is on its way to be the world’s third largest crude steel producing country surpassing USA, as per trend in the current calendar year (CY 2015). However, the per capita steel consumption in India is still very low, about 60 kg compared to the global average of about 217 kg per capita.
“With anticipated growth in the economy, government initiatives like Make in India and likely increased investment in infrastructure, the future growth of Indian Steel sector is expected to be positive and the government has set upon itself an ambitious target of nearly trebling our steel-making capacity to 300 million tonnes in the next decade, by 2025,” he said.
On ‘Reforms in Mining Sector’ the minister said that since the beginning of 2015 lots of reforms have been initiated in the mining sector, beginning with the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act 2015 (#MMDR Act 2015).
“The Ministry of Mines have framed various Rues under the Act like the Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Rules 2015, the Mineral (Auction) Rules 2015, the NMET Rules, the Mines and Minerals ( contribution to District Mineral Foundation) Rules and have been conveyed to the states to administer auctioning of mines in a transparent manner. For accelerating exploration, over 8.13 lakh square kilometres of Obvious Geological Potential (OGP) area will be taken up for aero-geophysical survey,” he said.
Tomar emphasised on the need for working in close coordination with states, and also bringing the beneficiaries from exploration and exploration agencies, on same platform for better synergy and progress. He underscored the significance of professional and business-like functioning for a time-bound and result-oriented approach. Exploration of minerals on an urgent basis is need of the hour, and NMET is taking a concrete shape to give direction and energy to exploration.
Various issues that came up for discussion in the meeting included Environment and Forest clearances for mining and exploration, use of space technology, pooling of resources and capabilities, DMF fund utilisation for PMKKKY, role of central and state agencies and PSUs, exploration status with respect to mine auction planning, bringing in experts and private agencies for value-addition, matters pertaining to North-east states, control of illegal mining, exploration rate schedule for all minerals and e-governance.