54 mines’ auc­tion to add `1.5 lakh cr to states’ kitty

Resource Digest - - CONTENT -

Auc­tion of 54 min­eral blocks in the cur­rent fis­cal is likely to fetch Rs 1.5 lakh crore to the min­eral rich states' ex­che­quer, a top of­fi­cial has forecast. So far, the states have gar­nered Rs 73,000 crore rev­enue from auc­tion of 21 min­eral blocks.

"In this cur­rent fi­nan­cial year, we ex­pect to auc­tion 54 mines with a min­eral value of Rs 2 lakh crore and a rev­enue im­pli­ca­tion of ac­cru­als to states of Rs 1.5 lakh crore," Mines Sec­re­tary Arun Ku­mar said on the side­lines of an event.

The first tranche of auc­tions, which had started last year, wit­nessed bidding for 21 mine blocks. The first suc­cess­ful auc­tion took place in Fe­bru­ary 2016, with two small lime­stone blocks in Ch­hat­tis­garh go­ing un­der the ham­mer.

The min­eral-rich state will gen­er­ate about Rs 18 crore from the two blocks over the next 50 years. Since then, 21 mines con­tain­ing iron ore, lime­stone, gold and di­a­mond etc have been auc­tioned.

The lease to mine min­er­als from these blocks is for 50 years and the to­tal earn­ings in­clude roy­alty and con­tri­bu­tions for the Dis­trict Min­eral Foun­da­tion and the Na­tional Min­eral Ex­plo­ration Trust.

This time the par­tic­i­pa­tion is likely to be in­creased as more mines, in­clud­ing those of lime­stone, iron ore and gold, will be put up for auc­tion. The mines min­istry has al­ready fa­cil­i­tated the auc­tion process, ex­tend­ing sup­port from IBM and Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey of In­dia (GSI) and var­i­ous PSUS such as MSTC, MECON, MECL and SBICAP.

Asked about Coal In­dia Ltd’s plans to en­ter min­eral min­ing, Ku­mar said, "I would wel­come any­one en­ter­ing the min­eral sec­tor be­cause the more the mer­rier. When more play­ers would ex­ist ,there would be more fair com­pe­ti­tion and the econ­omy and sec­tor would tend to ben­e­fit.”

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