NEW DELHI: Dissatisfied with states inability to get investors in the recently concluded mine auctions, the Centre has decided to constitute an Inter-ministerial group (IMG) to evaluate the mistakes and draw up a reworked plan on the lines of successful coal auctions.
Only six blocks out of 43 identified have been auctioned by three states so far. The IMG, to be headed by Mines Secretary, will have representation from both Centre and State governments. The first meeting of IMG is scheduled on May 4. “The IMG constitutes of all concerned Union and State ministers and secretaries. We have scheduled our first meeting on May 4 to expedite the entire process and resolve the issues,” Balwinder Kumar, Mines Secretary told Express.
The meeting will also include discussions on how to bring more investors for remaining mines that have not been able to garner interest. The directive has also come from PMO to resolve the environmental and other related issues with various states, so that potential bidders are attracted.
States had identified 43 mines bearing minerals such as iron ore, bauxite, gold and limestone for auction in the first phase. Only six mines have been auctioned, which will earn a revenue, including royalties, of Rs 18,146 crore.
“Each state has its own problem and hence they have also shared their inability for lacklustre response from investors. We will discuss all these in detail and try to resolve the various issues,” Kumar added.
For instance, for the state of Goa said that there was no scope for more iron ore blocks to be put for auction and requested mines ministry to approach Supreme Court for relaxing the cap on production of the ore.
However, industry experts wants the government to complete exploration of mines before auction so that bidders have access to information that can help them take an informed decision.
■ Only six blocks out of 43 identified have been auctioned by three states so far
■ The IMG, to be headed by Mines Secretary, will have representation from both Centre and State governments
■ States had identified 43 mines bearing minerals such as iron ore, bauxite, gold and limestone for auction in the first phase
■ The first meeting of IMG is scheduled on May