Ministry of Mines is making continuous efforts to encourage mining activities pan India. Accordingly, to further encourage exploration activities in the mineral rich North East region, the first “Northeast Geology & Mining Ministers’ Conclave was held on Monday at Niathu Resort, Chumukedima, Dimapur, Nagaland.
In the event, North-East Mines and Coal Ministers’ committee put forward their concerns and demands before the Union Minister of Mines, Coal and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Pralhad Joshi.
Addressing the same, Shri Pralhad Joshi said that the North East region has been accorded top priority for development under the Prime Minister’s agenda of transforming India. North-Eastern Region is the focus point of India’s ‘Act East Policy’. Geological Survey of India (GSI) has taken up 108 projects in NER on different mineral commodities during the last five years and 23 mineral exploration projects on various commodities in NER in current field season 2022-23. The Government is also funding projects through National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET), Shri Joshi added. Two mineral exploration projects of limestone & Iron ore of Nagaland funded by NMET have been already completed. NMET is also providing financial assistance for procurement of machinery/ laboratory equipment/ instruments etc. to State DGMs upto 10% of the total approved exploration projects in year. A Joint Working Group has been constituted by Ministry of Mines for different states to resolve several issues related to the process of auctioning.
Assuring NE region of complete support, Shri Pralhad Joshi further stated that the Ministry through GSI and Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) can organize training program for state Geologist and other functionaries for their capacity building. Such programs can be organized by GSI in its Shillong Centre or GSITI at Hyderabad as per the convenience of States.
However, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi also stated his concerns regarding auctioning process in the NE region and urged the state governments to resolve the issues pertaining to auction in different states of North East region. He added that the establishment of resources and their successful auction will bring economic prosperity through revenue augmentation, employment generation, industry influx which will further lead to overall growth and development of the NER. The successful auctioning of the blocks can also act as a catalyst to bring other financing sources to the region.
Later addressing the media,- the Union Minister said the government is also keenly examining the environmental implications of coal and oil exploration while also ensuring that the rich mineral resources are properly exploited for the benefit of the region. Shri Sanjay Lohiya, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Mines made his remarks stating that the Ministry is focused on increasing the pace of exploration of minerals in the country as well as on auction of mineral blocks. GSI is focusing on completing National Baseline Geoscience Data Generation programme in the country and has increased focus on exploration of critical minerals in the NE region. Recently three projects of more than Rs. 10 crore have been sanctioned from NMET to the state of Assam. He added that the Ministry of Mines and its bodies GSI, IBM, MECL will be extending full support to the state governments. Expressing hope, Shri Lohiya said that this conclave will go a long way in improving mining and geological activities in the region