Industry should share insights to collaborate, innovate in making the sector self-reliant: Pralhad Joshi

New Delhi: Mr Pralhad Joshi, Minister for Mines, Coal & Parliamentary Affairs, today said that government has introduced industry-friendly and productive reforms in order to bring competitiveness and transparency in the mining sector.

Addressing webinar on ‘Indian Mining Industry: Contribution Towards Atmanirbhar Bharat’, organized by FICCI, Mr Joshi said that it is time that India leverages its intrinsic strength in mineral resources and capitalizes on the potential to facilitate India’s growth towards becoming Atmanirbhar Bharat and a US$ 5 Trillion Economy.

He further said that to facilitate this ambitious target, concerted efforts need to be taken by both the government and the industry stakeholders. “We not only need structural reforms in the sectors but also a greater participation of the industry and the manufacturers to accelerate the growth momentum,” added Mr Joshi.

Inviting industry to invest in the sector, Mr Joshi said, “I invite foreign investors, explorers, and miners to come and explore huge opportunities that the Indian mining sector offers.”

Talking about the webinar, Mr Joshi later posted on a social media platform “Emphasised on working collectively to achieve PM Shri Narendra Modi ji’s vision of a self-reliant India, while scaling greater heights in terms of mineral exploration and production.”

Mr Joshi highlighted that the ministry has introduced Seamless Composite Exploration-cum-Mining-cum-Production. He said that such proactive measures would go a long way in enhancing the sector’s contribution to the Indian GDP and reduce import dependency.

Calling the mining sector, the backbone of the nation’s economy, the minister further said that the government is committed to taking dedicated initiatives and support the industry.

Mr Tuhin Mukherjee, Chair, FICCI Mining Committee and Managing Director, Essel Mining & Industries Ltd., said, “The industry feels that there is a need to pay more focus to exploration along with mining activities. Globally, exploration is much high and there is a need to invest in exploration in India. We also have to regulate and optimize the mine size and productivity.”

Mr Rahul Sharma, Co-Chair, FICCI Mining Committee and CEO (Alumina Business), Vedanta Ltd., said that while mining contributes 3.8 per cent of the nation’s GDP, which is close to $ 100 billion, the industry hopes to raise the contribution to 10 per cent of the GDP, thereby taking the amount to $ 300 billion. “We need to take 360-degree turn from being net importer to net exporter. The mining & metal sector will play a crucial role,” he said.

He added that while the world average of exploration stood at 80 per cent, India’s exploration stood at only at 10 per cent of the OGP area. Mr Sharma said, “We welcome the government’s transparent National Coal Index that will bring a uniform benchmark and can be extended to other minerals as well.”

Mr Sumit Deb, Co-Chair, FICCI Mining Committee and CMD, NMDC Ltd said, “For the mining sector to contribute significantly to the economy, it is imperative to convert the abundant mineral resources into mineral reserves and boost production.”

Mr Pankaj Satija, Co-Chair, FICCI Mining Committee and Chief Regulatory Affairs, Tata Steel Ltd., highlighted the role of start-ups and the need to increase investments in the exploration process. He said that there is a need for global reporting standards to help increase FDI in the sector.

Dr Aruna Sharma, Former Secretary, Government of India emphasized on the vast potential that the mining sector has to serve the requirements of the end use industries.

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