After Odisha’s demand, centre agrees to amend mining rules to ensure smooth production of minerals, bare non-serious players in mining block auctions

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Bhubaneswar: Union Minister for Coal & Mines Pralhad Joshi on Thursday said that the government of India is extending all round support to Odisha to avoid any interruption in the mineral production of the country.

He stressed that in view of the requests made from state government, central government will amend concerned rules so that smooth production of minerals could be ensured and non-serious players barred from participating in mineral block auctions.

“Specially to expedite iron ore production in Odisha, we have approved the proposals to allot 02 iron ore mining blocks to Odisha Mineral Corporation and 01 block to Odisha Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd on the request of the state.” Joshi said.

Last month Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik had urged the mining ministry to bring more reforms in the mineral sector to ensure uninterrupted ore supply to industries. He had also proposed reservation of some of the expired mining leases to state PSUs like OMC to ensure uninterrupted ore supply to the industry.

“Odisha supports further mineral sector reforms and streamlining of procedures which will go a long way in unlocking the mineral resources of the country and give a boost to the economy. Shortage of ore and resultant high price has posed a challenge for the sponge iron plants, small and medium size steel plants. Such disruptions and uncertainties in production and dispatch are undesirable, especially during these times,” the CM had said.

The Odisha government had auctioned 19 Iron Ore blocks in February 2020. However, even after one year only seven blocks have managed to start production. 

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