September 23, 2015 1:42:16 am
The mines ministry will meet top mining officials of twelve states on Thursday to assess their final preparedness in auctioning non-coal mining leases beginning November. The states are likely to be informed that the Centre would be willing to “hand hold” them if the need arose.
The mines ministry has decided to retain the services of MSTC Limited’s trading platform for auctioning the leases of ten major minerals as had been done by the coal ministry to bid coal blocks.
The coordination-cum-empowered committee (CCEC) of the ministry headed by its secretary Balvinder Kumar has convened the meet which would be attended by mining secretaries of Karnataka, Telangana, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. These states have identified 166 mining leases of which 82 would go under the hammer in November.
“We are willing to encourage handholding by central agencies and have roped in relevant PSUs for this exercise. This is a key item on the agenda. The states are prepared, but the level of preparedness varies,” a senior mines ministry official told The Indian Express on Tuesday.
Mines minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday said formalities for auction have been completed and exuded confidence that states would be prepared to execute the bids for 82 leases.
In case of coal, mines were auctioned but in the case of non-coal minerals like iron ore and bauxite, mining leases are being auctioned. He told reporters that the government is willing to assist the states in the auction process.
To help the states the ministry has roped in state-run metallurgical consultant Mecon Limited to demarcate the blocks put on offer through differential global positioning system (DGPS) and mining PSU Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited would help in quantifying the mineral contents of the leases while MSTC Limited would extend its trading platform for the bids, the official said.
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