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After coal, reforms in other natural resources on the cards, says Jaitley

Talks for fixing bidding parameters for auctions underway, says Mines Ministry.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
November 6, 2014 1:04:18 am

The Union mines ministry on Wednesday said that deliberations on fixing the financial and technical parameters for auction of iron ore and bauxite mining leases is underway and would soon approach the Union Cabinet for approval.

The ministry’s announcement followed finance minister Arun Jaitley’s address at the India Economic Summit where he announced that the government is working out a plan for auctioning iron ore, bauxite and other mines.

Jaitley said that the government was looking at ending discretion and bringing in fairness in allocation of mineral blocks, which has begun with the ordinance on coal blocks. “I can tell you with regard to other minerals we are about to undertake a similar reforms,” he said.

The Indian Express had reported on Wednesday that the government has finalised a list 31 mining leases for iron ore and bauxite mines to be auctioned by April 2015.

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These mines have been fully explored and the quantum of mineralisation ascertained by state-run exploration agencies. With over 60,000 mining leases pending with the Central and state governments, the Union mines ministry is learnt to have decided to auction around 150 leases next year.

According to a blueprint drafted by the mines ministry, the bidders for the mining leases would be evaluated based on their experience, technical expertise, financial strength, required manpower, investment proposed by them, value addition proposals and finally the financial bids.

The government is likely to allow only those end users who have proposed to set up projects and have shown commitment towards their plans.

The financial bid will focus on a price discovery mechanism wherein the intrinsic value of the mineral would be captured through the discounted cash flow approach.

Policy to help people resume education on the anvil: Irani

New Delhi: The government is set to launch a ‘credit-equivalent transfer system’ on November 11 that will help individuals resume their studies if they had left mid-way for jobs.

The government is also planning to come out with a new education policy next year, human resource development minister Smriti Irani said at the India Economic Summit on Wednesday.

Terming the absence of the credit transfer system as a challenge, Irani said the new system would help transfer of credit from one educational institution to another.

“I was a working professional who fell out of the education system because I wanted to retain my job,” she said, adding, that universities have been advised to have a seamless system. The new system would be from class IX onwards to begin with and in January 2015 it would be for up to PhD programmes.

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