Panel prepares blueprint for doubling mineral output growth – by Gireesh Chandra Prasad ( – September 20, 2016)

To boost growth, the mining ministry is set to revive operations in several hundred mines

New Delhi: Mineral production in India needs to grow 15% a year by volume to meet mines minister Piyush Goyal’s goal of raising the share of mining in the country’s economic output by one percentage point in the next two-to-three years, according to a blueprint being finalized by the government.

Mining output grew 9% in 2015-16 and 10.6% in the April-July period of 2016-17, according to official estimates.To boost growth, the ministry is set to revive operations in several hundred mines as per a plan being prepared by a committee chaired by mines secretary Balvinder Kumar.

The panel has met once and will meet again in a fortnight after identifying the steps to be taken in the case of each of the mines to be revived. “We have to take several steps to achieve the target. Besides stepping up exploration, we have to restart operations in all mines that are not operational due to various reasons,” Kumar said in an interview.

Operations have been stalled at hundreds of mines due to problems relating to environment clearances, state-level approvals and delays in execution of lease deeds.

The mines ministry will have to coordinate its efforts with the coal ministry—also held by Goyal—as the mining and quarrying growth figures brought out by the ministry of statistics as part of GDP (gross domestic product) data include coal, petroleum and natural gas, in addition to minerals.

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