Development through mining a major poll issue in Rajsamand

The Hindu | April 16, 2021

Congress’ Tansukh Bohra pitted against BJP’s Deepti Maheshwari for the seat in upcoming Rajasthan Assembly by-election

A robust development of infrastructure, matching with the nearby temple town of Nathdwara, through the mining sector and an effective utilisation of the District Mineral Foundation Trust (DMFT) connect the local populace with employment generation in Rajsamand. These are also the key factors during the campaign for the upcoming Assembly by-election here.

The southern Rajasthan district has about 1,500 quarries of marble, granite and minerals and their owners contribute ₹150 crore annually to the DMFT for the benefit of areas affected by mining-related operations. People’s resentment over under-utilisation of DMFT funds and diversion to other towns has prompted the ruling Congress to field mining industrialist Tansukh Bohra as its candidate.

On the other hand, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Deepti Maheshwari expects to carry forward the legacy of her mother, the late Kiran Maheshwari, who was elected from the constituency thrice between 2008 and 2018 and was a Minister in the Vasundhara Raje government. The BJP also hopes to get “sympathy votes” with the Maheshwari family member being in the fray.

‘People will select BJP’

BJP MP from Rajsamand Diya Kumari, camping in the town to address Ms. Maheshwari’s election rallies, told The Hindu that the Union government had been “responsive” to the demands raised in the constituency and had been doing its bit in different sectors. “The people here will once again repose faith in BJP. They are fed up with the Congress government, which has no clear policies or intentions,” she said.

The Congress has made an attempt to influence the local mine owners and workers with the credentials of Mr. Bohra. The mining baron, who enjoys a clean image, has been involved in philanthropic activities. Nitish Surana, managing Mr. Bohra’s election office, said the Congress candidate had made large contributions to the government hospitals and built several school buildings, besides developing the amenities at cremation grounds.

“There is no anti-incumbency wave in Rajsamand, even though the BJP has been traditionally winning this seat. Much will depend on how the Congress projects itself and influences the voters,” Ajay Singh, a youth from the nearby Kelwa village, said. Interestingly, the Congress has asked Mines & Petroleum Minister Pramod Jain to camp in the region till the polling day on April 17.

The Congress has also assured the voters that it would formulate a plan to develop the Chittorgarh-Rajsamand-Kumbhalgarh triangle as a new tourism circuit and widen the Khara feeder to bring more water to the historic Rajsamand lake, built by erstwhile Mewar ruler Rana Raj Singh in 1660.

Controversial remarks

Some controversial remarks made by senior BJP leader Gulab Chand Kataria, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, about legendary warrior king Maharana Pratap during the poll campaign earlier this week led to an embarrassment for the party.

As the Rajput outfits expressed an outrage, Mr. Kataria tendered an apology twice to the electorate.

Among the total of 10 candidates contesting in the constituency, the BJP faces a challenge from its rebel leader Suresh Joshi, who has entered the fray as an Independent in the name of protecting the honour of the region.

47 advanced ambulances dedicated in Odisha

Update Odisha | April 14, 2021

Bhubaneswar: On the auspicious occasion of Maha Bishuba Sankranti and Odia New Year, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday dedicated 47 new Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulances to the people of Odisha on virtual mode.

Dedicating the new ambulances, the Chief Minister has expressed hope that these ambulances will meet the increasing demand for transportation of patients with the advanced life support system.

He expressed confidence that with the cooperation of people, we can beat the second wave as we have done last year.

Out of 47 new advanced life support ambulances, 28 ALS ambulances will serve under 108 service, whereas 19 ALS ambulances will serve at different medical colleges and hospitals.

All these ambulances are funded by different sources e.g. MPLAD, District Mineral Foundation (DMF), Odisha Mineral Bearing Areas Development Corporation(OMBADC) and Corporate CSR.

The latest addition to the 108 ambulance service is likely to increase the capacity of the service provider to reach out to more people in distress in different parts of the state.

These additional 108 ambulances will be attached to the respective District Headquarter Hospitals (DHH).

Ziqitza Health Services Pvt Ltd which is managing the 108 ambulance service in the state said that the capacity building of the service was possible due to the hand holding support of the MPs of Odisha, funds from the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) and Odisha mining funds.

The service provider said that the additional capacity is likely to increase the working capacity of the ambulance service.

“The latest addition of 28 more ambulances under 108 ambulance service is likely to help us to reach out to more number of people to cater to their needs. We have now completed eight years of our uninterrupted services and regularly widening our services,” said Sabyasachi Biswal, State Head of Ziqitza Healthcare Ltd.

After this new addition, the 108 ambulances fleet number has reached to 624, whereas there will be 500 number of 102 ambulance and 6 boat ambulances. There were two kind of ambulances i.e. Advanced Life Support and basic life support ambulances there in Odisha.

The advanced life support ambulances have all the latest features including Defibrillator Monitors, Syringe Pump, and Ventilator Machine. Earlier, 108 ambulance service has 56 ALS featured ambulances, this addition will increase its number to 84 in the state.

Towards Self-Reliance

Business World | April 13, 2021

Coal India as a whole produced 602.14 MT of coal during 2019-20 accomplishing 91 per cent of the targeted production.

Notwithstanding the projections over renewables displacing coal, the fact of the matter is that coal will continue to be the dominant fuel driving India’s electricity generation for the next few decades and Coal India is the single largest coal producer in the world.

Coal India (CIL), the state-owned coal mining corporate, came into being in November 1975, producing a modest 79 million tonne (MT) at the time. CIL today is the single largest coal producer in the world and one of the largest corporate employers with a workforce of 2,72,445 (as on 1st April 2020). CIL functions through its subsidiaries in 84 mining areas spread over eight states. It has 352 mines (as on 1st April 2020) of which 158 are underground, 174 are opencast and 20 mixed mines. CIL further operates 12 coal washeries, (10 coking coal and 2 non-coking coal) and also manages other establishments like workshops, hospitals, and so on.

The PSU has 26 training institutes and 84 vocational training centres. The Indian Institute of Coal Management (IICM), a state-of-the-art management training ‘centre of excellence’ – the largest corporate training institute in India — operates under CIL and conducts multi-disciplinary programmes.

MAHARATNA MANDATE: CIL is a Maharatna company, a Government of India classification of the most important and the biggest state-owned enterprises with the mandate to expand their operations and emerge as global giants.

Despite the many challenges that emerged including the extended and heavy monsoon, inundation of Dipka mine, subdued demand for power, Covid-19 in the last fortnight of March 2020, CIL managed to come back strongly in the second half of fiscal 2019-20, making up most of the lost ground in the first half. Coal India as a whole produced 602.14 MT of coal during 2019-20 accomplishing 91 per cent of the targeted production.

Coal India achieved a net profit of Rs 16,700.34 crore and gross sales of Rs 1,34,979.13 crore. All subsidiaries of Coal India earned profit before tax during the year. Coal India and its subsidiaries paid/adjusted Rs 43,058.72 crore towards royalty, GST, cess, District Mineral Foundation (DMF) and National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) and other levies. CIL subsidiaries also distributed 15,42,982 masks and 63,256 litres of hand sanitiser to its employees and people living in and around its operational areas to fight Covid-19. In addition, they also procured N95 masks, ventilators, PPE suits, thermal scanners and oxygen cylinders to fight the Covid pandemic.

Coal India is one of the highest CSR spenders among the PSUs touching the lives of the countrymen. Its CSR activities largely encompass education, rural development, healthcare, women empowerment, skill development and sports. CIL and its subsidiaries spent a total of Rs 587.84 crore on CSR activities during 2019-20.

Based on the demand projection for the coal sector in the country in the coming years and subsequently, a roadmap has been prepared for the medium term wherein CIL envisages 1 billion tonne coal production by 2023-24. To achieve this target, CIL has identified major projects and assessed other related issues.

The capital expenditure for 2020-21 has been pegged at Rs 10,000 crore. CIL plans to invest substantial amount in diversification projects like solar power, revival of fertiliser plants, coal gasification and rail wagon procurement during 2020-21.

The company’s vision is to ensure that there is no shortage of coal in the country and achieve self-reliance in coal. Coal India envisions to be a commercially viable company and endeavours to move ahead as a contemporary, professional, consumer friendly and successful corporate entity committed to national developmental goals.

New life to the mining sector

The Sanghai Express | April 11, 2021
Pralhad Joshi
Contd from prev issue
This Amendment Act is set to redefine the standard of exploration required for auctioning partially explored mineral blocks for Prospecting License-cum-Mining Lease. This will boost the seamless transition from exploration to production and encourage participation of private players. The amended provisions in the Act also ensure better clarity on ‘Mining without Lawful Authority’ to save leaseholders from unjustified penalties under other litigations.

We have also fulfilled a long-standing demand by making local Members of Parliament a member of District Mineral Foundation (DMF) Governing Council to make DMF more outcome-oriented. Arrangements have also been made to keep a check on misuse of DMF funds so that inclusive development of those affected by mining can be ensured.

There are several other changes in the MMDR Act that will boost ease of doing business in the mineral mining sector and make it more competitive and productive. The MMDR Amendment Act, 2021 will pave the way for the creation of almost 55 lakh employment opportunities along with having a multiplier effect on several other sectors. Prime Minister Modi has ensured that the mineral mining sector gets to play its actual role of being the foundation of the nation’s economy. Over several meetings, he has laid out an envisioned plan wherein the sector is taking allied industries on a growth course to becoming a $5 trillion economy. I am happy that these amendments are in line with his vision and confident that the sector has a major role to play in defining us as a New India. PIB The author is Union Minister of Coal, Mines & Parliamentary Affairs

In new India, leveraging the country’s great mineral potential

Hindustan Times | Pralhad Joshi | April 07, 2021

Given the importance of the sector, the Narendra Modi government has envisioned increasing the sector’s contribution from 1.75% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) currently to 2.5% of GDP

Among the most important sectors with an impact on economic growth is mineral mining. In terms of generating employment, the sector, second only to agriculture, directly and indirectly employs about 11 million people, and sustains the livelihood of about 55 million people.

Despite its huge potential, India’s mineral mining sector remained choked under previous regimes. India had been underexplored — over 17% of the nation’s land area has mineral reserves whereas mining is being carried out only on 0.25% of the area. The sector had also underperformed in attracting investments. While mineral production stands at ₹1.25 lakh crore annually, its import is a whopping ₹2.5 lakh crore.

But given the importance of the sector, the Narendra Modi government has envisioned increasing the sector’s contribution from 1.75% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) currently to 2.5% of GDP. My ministry’s most important task, therefore, has been reforming this sector, with the aim of increasing the mineral production output by 200% over the next seven years. The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2021 is a step towards achieving this.

Despite its huge potential, India’s mineral mining sector remained choked under previous regimes. India had been underexplored — over 17% of the nation’s land area has mineral reserves whereas mining is being carried out only on 0.25% of the area. The sector had also underperformed in attracting investments. While mineral production stands at ₹1.25 lakh crore annually, its import is a whopping ₹2.5 lakh crore.

But given the importance of the sector, the Narendra Modi government has envisioned increasing the sector’s contribution from 1.75% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) currently to 2.5% of GDP. My ministry’s most important task, therefore, has been reforming this sector, with the aim of increasing the mineral production output by 200% over the next seven years. The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2021 is a step towards achieving this.

A large number of mining blocks were not brought into production for many years. Most have been blocked in legacy cases. Such cases can neither be granted lease because the time period to grant them is already over, nor can they be brought to auction because of the legal impasse. We have amended the existing provision for reallocation of such mineral blocks through a transparent auction mechanism. Auctioned mines not made operational within three years will be returned to states concerned for reallocation through auction, as will greenfield mines allocated to public sector units that are not brought into production after a review.

One of the key reforms is transferring all valid rights, approvals, clearances and licenses to the new lessee, valid until the mineral reserves last. This would facilitate lessees to transfer the mine to another entity, thus bringing in fresh investment and entrepreneurship to operate the mine.

Since 2015, geological reports for 143 mineral blocks have been handed over to various states. These blocks are auction-ready, but so far, states have only auctioned seven blocks. To ensure that national reserves are put to best use, a provision has been made wherein the Union government can conduct auctions in consultation where states face challenges or fail to conduct auctions.

Removing the distinction between captive and non-captive mines was long in coming. We knew it was akin to participating in a race with one leg tied. With no such distinction now, there will be a level-playing field for mineral block auctions. Existing captive mines have also been allowed to sell minerals over and above their requirements. A 50% rebate in the revenue share, for the quantity of minerals produced and dispatched earlier than scheduled date of production, has also been provided.

This amendment Act is set to redefine the standard of exploration required for auctioning of partially explored mineral blocks for prospecting licence-cum-mining lease. This will boost seamless transition from exploration to production and encourage the participation of private players. The amended provisions in the Act also ensure better clarity on “Mining without Lawful Authority” to save lease-holders from unjustified penalties under other litigations.

We have also fulfilled a long-standing demand by making local Members of Parliament members of the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) governing council to make DMF more outcome-oriented. Arrangements have also been made to keep a check on misuse of DMF funds so that inclusive development of those affected by mining can be ensured. There are several other changes in the MMDR Act that will boost the ease of doing business in the mineral mining sector, make it more competitive, pave the way for creation of employment opportunities, and have a multiplier effect on several other sectors. Over several meetings, PM Modi laid out a plan where the sector takes allied industries on a growth course to help India become a $5-trillion economy. These amendments are in line with his vision, and the sector will play a major role in defining a New India.

1 5 6 7 8 9 31