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Mining: Odisha invites dialogue of all stakeholders

In a bid to streamline operation in the mining sector, Odisha government Wednesday invited dialogue and participation of all the stakeholders for addressing challenges faced by the industry.

This was stated by Odisha's steel and mines minister Prafulla Mallick while addressing the ASSOCHAM Conference on Mining in Odisha here.

The minister said the state government has been focusing on increased exploration to enhance resource base which would also help in offering new blocks to the miners in the state.

Mallick said the state is focusing more on supply of ores and mineral and promote downstream manufacturing which would ensure optimum utilization of resources and help boost industrial investment and employment in the state.

In the Make in Odisha conclave held earlier this month, the state has received investment commitments of approximately Rs 2,36,000 crore from minerals, metals and downstream companies.

The major investment commitments include Rs 41,000 crore for the expansion plan of SAIL's Rourkela Steel Plant and close to Rs 38,000 crore from NALCOwhich will give further boost this sector.

Talking about the need to emphasize more responsible mining, the minister said effective regulation and implementation of current laws are pre-requisites for being able to continue mining of even most essential minerals.

He suggested that in order to optimize risk-reward equations and achieve economies of scale, mining companies should forge alliances with infrastructure players, technology and equipment suppliers and financiers in innovative ways, including the PPP model.

He added that DMFs (district mineral foundations) have been set up at the district level as per the provision of the Odisha Mineral Foundation Act, 2015 for the benefit of the mining affected people of the area.

The total DMF collections in various districts in 2015-16 was Rs 395.38 crore, in 2016-17 it has been Rs 2109.89 crore and in 2017-18, Rs 1,670.31 crore.