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Odisha to survey in 80,707 sq km area for traces of gold, coal, gemstone

New industrial policy to be ready by end of this year

BS Reporter  |  Bhubaneswar 

The Steel and Mines department of the state government is mulling to undertake surveys in 80,707 square kilometer area of northwest and central Odisha to find traces of coal, gold and gemstone.

To carry out the exploration activities, it has sought the assistance of Odisha branch of Geological Survey of India, Steel and Mines minister, Prafull Kumar Mallick said in the assembly.The survey would include Madhupur and Manoharpur block of Jharsuguda district for coal reserves, Giringkela area of Sundergarh for gold traces, Dhenkanal, Kandhamal, Rayagada and Cuttack district for graphite and Kalahandi district for gemstone.

To bear the expenses of the survey, the state government has earmarked a sum of Rs 7.99 crore in the current fiscal, Mallick said.

Among other expenses, the state government would spend Rs 27 crore to strengthen the integrated mines and mineral management system (i3MS), the online service to track mineral movement in the state and improve output capacity of Odisha Mineral Corporation (OMC).

For Steel and Mines department, total budgetary expense has been approved at Rs 79.2 crore for 2014-15.

The state government has estimated a revenue of Rs 6,364 crore from mining sector in the current fiscal. Mining revenue includes royalty, surface rent and VAT charges and stamp duty collected at the time of lease renewal.

Though collection of mining revenue has been hit by frequent restrictions imposed by the state government and the courts, the state hopes to gain major amount from renewal of leases. The Supreme Court has ordered the Odisha government to take steps for renewal of at least 26 mining leases before November this year.

Mallick said, out of 49 companies which have signed agreements with the state government to set up steel plants, seven have gone into production with a combined capacity of 12 million tonne per year.

Total investment in steel sector so far has been Rs 80,000 crore, against the estimated investment of Rs 2,13,969 crore.

In a separate development, the state government informed the house that it would come up with a new Industrial Policy Resolution- IPR, 2014, by the end of this year.

The state government would also complete drafting of a state specific policy on Special Economic Zone and corporate social responsibility (CSR) during current fiscal, said Industries minister, Debi Prasad Mishra.

Besides, the state government would take steps to constantly monitor the progress of investments by private companies and jobs created out of it.

It would also take steps to set up 11 growth centres in different district and a special investment zone at Dhamra, he added.

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First Published: Sun, July 27 2014. 20:29 IST