Union Mines and Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi on Saturday lauded the reforms in the mining sector announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Joshi said the mining reforms will bring a huge opportunity for employment and it will also add to the country's GDP.
"Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman talked about reforms in Coal and Mine sector. In the Mining sector, we have brought a major change. Those changes will definitely be historic. There will be a huge opportunity for employment as well as to add to GDP", Union Minister for Coal and Mines said.
The minister further said that presently the mining sector accommodates 5.5 crore employees and these figures will double to 10 crore in the next four years. Similarly, the GDP contribution which is currently Rs.4.1 Lakh crores will be increased to Rs 8 Lakh crore in the coming 2-3 years.
"At present around 5.5 crore people are working in this sector, it will become almost 10 crores in the coming four years. Contribution to GDP is Rs 4.1 Lakh Crore, it will become around Rs 8 Lakh Crore in coming 2-3 years," Joshi said.
While unveiling the fourth tranche of Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said that the Central government will introduce competition, transparency and private sector participation in the coal sector and will do infrastructure development of Rs 50,000 crore. Sitharaman also announced the introduction of a seamless composite "exploration-cum-mining-cum-production regime".
"There will be liberalised entry for people to participate for a range of coal blocks, the government will introduce competition, transparency, and private sector participation in the Coal Sector through revenue sharing mechanism instead of the regime of fixed rupee/tonne. This means, now, any party can bid for a coal block and sell in the open market," said the Finance Minister.
"Entry norms will be liberalised. The government will offer nearly 50 blocks immediately with no eligibility conditions, but only upfront payment with a ceiling," she added.
Furthermore, Nirmala Sitharaman announced sectoral reform for mining of minerals, which will boost growth, employment and bring state-of-the-art technology, especially in exploration.
"The government will introduce a seamless composite exploration-cum-mining-production regime. 500 mining blocks will be offered through an open and transparent auction process. The government will also introduce a joint auction of bauxite and coal mineral blocks to enhance the aluminum industry's competitiveness. This will help the industry reduce electricity costs," said Sitharaman.
"Distinction between captive, non-captive mines will be removed and a mineral index will be made. Stamp duty to be rationalised," she added.
(With inputs from Agency)