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Post COVID-19 revival: CII suggests expediting auction of explored blocks to boost mining


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Industry body CII has suggested measures, including expediting auction process of already explored mineral blocks and starting the exploration activity, to revive the mining sector.
Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi during his virtual interaction with the National Mining Committee of CII on Monday deliberated on boosting the mining sector to make it a driver of growth, revenue and employment as part of post COVID-19 economic revival, sources said.
Deliberations were held on 'how mining sector can trigger the economy post lockdown', they said.
Stating that the mining sector was both capital and labour-intensive sector, the CII has suggested different ways in which the mining sector can lead the economic growth.
Among the various measures, it suggested expediting the auction process of the already explored mineral blocks and easing environment and forest clearance of mines, according to sources.
As getting various environmental clearances takes three to four years for a block, the capital gets locked, the government was told by the CII.
The industry body said "India is a mineral rich country and has a huge potential and the mining sector can play a pivotal role to trigger the growth of economy" which is not in a good shape, according to sources.
Earlier, another industry body Ficci had sought subsuming all levies like royalty and contributions to the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) into one tax like GST to reduce the tax burden on the mining industry.
The industry body argued that the mining sector is going through a tough time due to falling commodity prices and demand contraction.
Underlining multiple challenges coupled with disruptions due to coronavirus lockdown, Ficci also sought deferment of royalty and contributions to DMF and the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) by six months.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday conveyed to chief ministers that the country will have to give importance to the economy as well as to continue the fight against coronavirus.

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First Published: Apr 28 2020 | 7:18 PM IST

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