Jaipur, Jul 20 (PTI) Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday said there are abundant reserves of mineral wealth in Rajasthan and using the resources in scientific and environmental-friendly manner can boost the economy of the country and the state.
He strongly advocated early resolution of pending issues at the central level to promote mining sector activities in Rajasthan.
Gehlot was discussing various issues related to mining in Rajasthan with Union Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi.
He raised the issue of delay in environmental clearances for mining projects and sought cooperation. The chief minister said after the auction of mineral blocks, mining leases should be issued expeditiously.
He also said before submitting the exploration report of Geological Survey of India (GSI) and Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL), it should be examined whether the concerned mineral block is commercially suitable for mining or not.
Gehlot said the National Mining Exploration Trust (NMET) was formed to give impetus to mineral exploration in the country. Rajasthan has also contributed about Rs 256 crore to it.
He said there is a need for increased exploration due to the possibilities of abundant deposits of limestone, copper and iron in the state.
The chief minister added that the state had sent proposals for five projects, but NMET rejected these projects. Only seven projects of Rajasthan have been approved. The chief minister pointed out that Rajasthan gets about 70 per cent royalty from major minerals. The central government has not revised royalty rates for more than 3 years.
He said an early decision should be taken on the proposals sent by the state government to revise the rates of royalty so that the revenue of the state can increase in this challenging period of the pandemic. Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi said efforts are being made to promote mining activities across the country with the cooperation of the Centre and state governments.
He assured that the Union Ministry of Mines would ensure speedy action on the mining issues related to Rajasthan.
He also said the funding of NMET would be increased to give impetus to mineral exploration in Rajasthan.
'Following up on the of progress made by State govts. on the implementation of #MineralReforms brought by us under the visionary leadership of @narendramodi ji, had a review meeting with CM Rajasthan, Shri @ashokgehlot51 ji,' Joshi tweeted.
Joshi further said the mineral reforms will not only boost mineral production, but also create wide-scale employment opportunities and revenue, taking forward the vision of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Centre had initiated mega mineral reforms in March this year after making amendment to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act.
These structural reforms will help tap the huge mineral potential, ensure seamless and uninterrupted production and supply of minerals, and generate large scale employment opportunities. PTI AG SID ABM ABM