Mumbai: The Centre is likely to announce the new mining policy in the next two-three months, a move that is expected to pave the way for large-scale investment and job creation in the key sector.
“The new mining policy can be expected to be announced by April,” Union Minister of State for Mines Subbarami Reddy told reporters on the sidelines of a conference here Friday.
The policy announcement was taking time because the views of 28 states had to be taken into account, he said. “I am hopeful that it will be announced in two-three months’ time.”
After the policy comes into effect, he said massive investments were likely to flow into the sector.
“There will be investments to the tune of Rs5,00,000 crore and employment generation of around 10 lakh over the next six years,” the minister said.
Asked whether all states had agreed to the new policy, Reddy said they have not opposed its provisions but had sought clarification on some issues.
Chief Ministers of five mineral-rich states - Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand - had met the Prime Minister to discuss some issues and they were now satisfied, he said.
On the royalty issue, the Reddy said after the policy announcement, states would get more royalty which would be decided on the basis of the selling price as against the present tonnage basis.
India has a mineral area of 18.5 lakh sq km, but lack the technology and capital to exploit them. But once the new policy comes into effect, global entrepreneurs would flock to the country with both technology and capital, Reddy said.
He said India was rich in bauxite and coal and well placed to occupy a prime place in aluminium manufacturing.
The country’s aluminium production was expected to increase and touch the five million tonnes per annum (mtpa) mark over the next five years from 1.2 mtpa now, Reddy said.
The aluminium sector would require an investment of around Rs1,00,000 crore and had the potential to generate massive employment, the minister said.
According to Reddy, the two most pressing problems confronting bauxite mining were rehabilitation of tribals and environmental issues.
“Tribals should get employment besides some share of benefits (from the development),” Reddy said.
This would help in reducing their opposition to many of the projects now being proposed, he added.