Joshi calls for restructuring National Mineral Exploration Trust as autonomous body
He also advised state government agencies to come out with detailed and concrete plans for regional exploration of minerals.The Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation Act, 1957 as amended in 2015, has introduced transparent and competitive auction process for grant of mineral concessions.
Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi on Saturday urged the officials of his ministry to bring further momentum in restructuring the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) as an autonomous body. He was addressing the third governing body meeting of the Trust.
Joshi pointed out that in a resource-rich country like India all efforts should be made to give further fillip to mineral exploration so that imports can be curtailed. The minister said stringent conditions, if any, in the field of mineral exploration need to be removed in order to attract more firms to this sector.
Chairing the governing body meeting, the minister stressed the need to focus on the exploration of gold and rare earth along with other segments of the country's mineral exploration efforts, the mines ministry said in a statement.
Joshi underscored the need to streamline the system of extending financial assistance to states, especially the mineral-rich states for enhanced exploration. The creation of an atmosphere of competition among states to step up exploration is also needed, the minister pointed out. The interaction with states to encourage mining exploration needs to be more frequent and result oriented, Joshi said.
The governing body meeting was held for a periodical review and policy directions of NMET. The minister said mineral exploration is an integrated process and requires huge funds and NMET fund contribution was meant for exploration activities in the country. He also advised state government agencies to come out with detailed and concrete plans for regional exploration of minerals.
The Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 as amended in 2015, has introduced a transparent and competitive auction process for the grant of mineral concessions. It also provided for the establishment of NMET to give impetus to mineral exploration activities. The holders of mining lease and prospecting licence-cum-mining lease make payments equivalent to two per cent of royalty, for minerals under the second schedule of the Act, as NMET contribution simultaneously with payments of the royalty.
NMET is a body working to realise the mineral potential of the country in terms of mining activity and contribute commensurately to the growth of the economy. For this purpose, a number of steps have been initiated to ensure that the Indian economy receives the rightful contribution from its geological wealth. The mining industry is undergoing reforms introduced through investor-friendly and transformative interventions of the government.
The NMET fund is being utilised to undertake studies for mineral development; regional and detailed exploration with special emphasis on strategic and critical minerals; aerial geophysical survey of obvious geological potential and adjoining areas of the nation; sustainable mining with the adoption of advanced scientific and technological practices and mineral extraction metallurgy. It also facilitates exploration activities in such a manner that areas explored can be taken up for grant of mineral concessions in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
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