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"Our aim is the auction starts in 2019 and not in 2020 so that the successful bidder has time to manage and arrange finance, other resources, negotiations... So on and so forth," Mines Secretary Arun Kumar said in New Delhi.
He was speaking at the 51st annual general meeting of the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) in New Delhi.
FIMI had earlier expressed concerns on the expiry of the existing mining leases in March 2020, which it said would affect availability of raw materials for the Indian industry.
"So, we are looking at this very seriously and I hope our preparations will bear fruit. There would be minor disruptions I am sure, but I would put it in this perspective that we had much more major disruptions and survived," he added.
"And I hope in the forthcoming month, we will be able to bring out a draft amendment notification on which formal comments will come in and we will be able to notify the amendments as acceptable to the government," the secretary added.