Industries should get first right on minerals in Chhattisgarh: Naveen Jindal

Raipur: Chairman of the Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) and the Co-Chairman of the Minerals & Metals Committee of the PHD Chamber Of Commerce & Industries Mr. Naveen Jindal said that if pre-emption i.e. first right provision is implemented under the Mineral Concession Rules-2016 under rule number 12(1)(I) in Chhattisgarh, the ongoing mineral crisis can be averted.

Under the provision, the exemption has been given to the State Governments to prevent the movement of minerals to other states and abroad to ensure adequate supply to the industries of the state. This provision is implemented in Karnataka, where industries are being ensured in raw material availability through pre-emption policy.

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Mr. Jindal was expressing his views on the developmental aspects of the industries of Chhattisgarh in the Chhattisgarh Mining Summit organized by PHD Chamber Of Commerce & Industries online last evening. He said that if the central and state governments work together, the path of industries will become smoother.

In the last one year, iron ore prices have gone up by 500% in Odisha and by 350-400% in Chhattisgarh. Industries are facing an acute raw material crisis. If the pre-emption provisions are implemented, there will be adequate availability of the mineral and there will be possibilities of lower prices.

The state government should see that the industries which are providing employment to the people, contributing to the collection of revenue through tax, royalty etc., should be made available sufficient minerals.

Chhattisgarh has substantial iron ore, coal and other mineral resources that can enhance the prosperity of the state. He thanked Mr. M. Nagaraju, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Coal, who has been keeping the problems of the industries with the Government. He also thanked the Chairman, PHDCCI Minerals and Metals Committee, Mr. Anil Chaudhary and said that the industries are getting the benefit of his experience.

Mr. M. Nagaraju, IAS, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Coal, Government of India appealed to bring advanced technologies into the mining business will help in the development of the sector and the country. Proper treatment of waste and disposal of mining waste is the need of the hour so that the nation remains clean and green.

We need to switch to eco-friendly equipments which will help to minimize carbon emissions. The state and central governments need to bring small and medium scale entrepreneurs into the mining business.

He said that the middle cities and businessmen should be involved. For the optimization of efficiencies, he suggested that the government should auction large mines so that the business has a supply of input and raw material at the same time the different segments of the industry will get benefited.

While giving an overview about India and its industrial activity being a core indicator of progress and development, he opined that Chhattisgarh is crucial for the country especially in the mining sector which is an important sector for state and nation development. Mining generates employment for a large section of the population, which is the backbone of the economy. It provides secured revenue to a state so that the state is in a secured position to plan different projects based on the funds available to them.

He also mentioned that Chhattisgarh should take the lead in the coal sector.Talking about the operation of mines, he mentioned that action needs to be done by the state governments. They need to partner with the entrepreneurs for quicker operations of coal mines.

Mr. Sanjay Aggarwal, President, PHDCCI in his presidential address complimented the Government of India for its progressive policies and continuous endeavors for developing the mining sector in Chhattisgarh which has been the richest Indian state in terms of resources.

Mr. Anil K. Chaudhary, Chairman, Minerals & Metals Committee, PHDCCI while sharing his industry perspective, mentioned that we need to analyze and utilize the mineral strength of various states of the nation. Chhattisgarh has an abundance of mineral strength in the best of quality which needs to be harnessed in a planned and strategized manner.

On this occasion, JSPL Managing Director Mr. V.R. Sharma said that about 85 percent iron ore from Chhattisgarh is sent to other states. Only 15 percent iron ore is insufficient for the industries of the state. The Bhilai Steel Plant and Jindal Steel and Power Limited produce steel on a large scale here. Private sector industrial units in Chhattisgarh require about 20 million tons of iron ore per year. Apart from this, there are many medium and small scale steel industries. It is possible to double the production by 2025 if the sufficient quantities of minerals are available to them. He said that Chhattisgarh can contribute 60 million tons to the national target of producing 300 million tons of steel by 2030. Our effort should be that instead of raw materials, we should send ready-made goods outside, which will also bring huge revenue to the state exchequer.

Mr. Sharma suggested that instead of sending coal to other states, its diversified use can be ensured besides power generation. If work is done on the undertaking of making gas from coal and then fertilizer in the state, then the agriculture sector will also be benefitted.

The summit was also addressed by Vice President of PHDCCI Mr Pradeep Multani and Mr. Saket Dalmiya, Minerals and Metals Committee Co-Chairman Mr. Ravi Gupta, Chhattisgarh Chapter President of PHDCCI Mr. Shashank Rastogi, Swapnil Gupta etc. The program was conducted by Assistant General Secretary Yogesh Srivastava.

What is Mineral Concession Rules-2016 Rule No. 12(1)/(i)
Through this rule, the state government has been empowered to ensure availability of raw material to the existing mineral based industries in the state through pre-emption policy.

Situation in Chhattisgarh: NMDC is the only merchant minor in Chhattisgarh. Its iron ore production capacity is 37.8 million tons per annum but it produced only 25.65 million tons during last financial year, causing loss of revenue to the state government as well. NMDC dispatched a total of 27 million tons of iron ore during the period under review, out of which 89 per cent was sent outside the state and only 11 per cent was made available to the existing industries in the state. This is the reason the industries of the state are facing the crisis of mineral resources and they are not able to work with their full capacity.

Production not yet started from Bailadila Deposit-13
In order to provide iron ore to the existing steel industries within the Chhattisgarh, NMDC-CMDC joint venture was allocated Bailadila Deposit-13, having the capacity of 10 million tons per annum has not started yet. If NMDC produces up to the capacity i.e. 37.8 million tons from the existing mines and starts production at Bailadila at deposit-13, the iron ore availability in Chhattisgarh will be enhanced by 20-22 million tons per annum. With this step, sufficient iron ore will be available to the Iron & Steel industries of the state and the government will also earn huge revenue in the form of taxes and royalty.

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