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Delay in lease renewal, clearances plaguing mining sector: Industries

Thursday, 17 July 2014 - 11:34pm IST | Place: Panaji | Agency: PTI

Huge pendency of mining licences, delay in clearances for projects and renewal of leases are some key issues plaguing the sector, which has just come out of an 18-month-long ban, an industry body said on Thursday.

In most of the states, renewal of mining leases -- both captive and non captive -- are not done within the prescribed time-frame and leases operate under deemed extension clause in mineral concession rules framed way back in 1960, said H C Daga, Chairman, Federation of Indian Mineral Industries. "This has created total uncertainty in the mining sector. This uncertainty is the root cause for the industry over-shooting production limits mentioned in the environment clearances, which has been dubbed as illegal mining," he said.

"The impact of chocking of the mineral industry is showing in terms of high inflation, low manufacturing and GDP growth, current account deficit and high rate of unemployment," Daga said at the inauguration of a two-day summit on 'Sustainable Mining' here.

The mining industry in the country is undergoing transition in many ways, he said, adding that the Supreme Court's ruling on April 21, 2014, lifting ban on mining in Goa but capping the extraction limit up to 20 MT, has not helped the sector much.

"In the judgement, the SC has interpreted the deemed extension clause to be limited only to first renewal and not second renewal. The state government has said the second renewal is in the interest of mineral development," he said.

This part of the judgement has brought no relief to the mining companies, Daga said. "Stringent environmental laws, social licencing, judicial interventions and various other factors are forcing the industry to think beyond regulation and adopt sustainability in each of its activities to attain a balance between business goals and interests of stakeholders," he added. 

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