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Government Plans Slew of Reforms in Mining Sector

This would be a major reform that would allow companies such as Tata, Vedanta, JSW to commercially sell out

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Government, Reforms, Mining
Instead, a new hybrid mining lease agreement would be framed under which companies would be free to use extracted mineral both for captive use. Pixabay

The government plans a slew of reforms in the mining sector, including giving a big push to commercial mining to help attract investment and improve mineral production in the country.

As part of this, highly placed sources said the government would discontinue the practice of offering mining rights for mineral resources, including coal, to companies for captive use. Instead, a new hybrid mining lease agreement would be framed under which companies would be free to use extracted mineral both for captive use of end use plants (power, steel, cement etc) and commercial sale in the open market.

This would be a major reform that would allow companies such as Tata, Vedanta, JSW to commercially sell out from their captive iron ore mines for higher gains. State-owned SAIL has already been permitted to commercially sell iron ore from its captive mines.

A high level committee headed by NITI Aayog vice chairman and having top representation from ministries of finance, mines, coal and environment, has suggested that all mines hence forth be auctioned for commercial production. For companies taking mines largely for captive use, 50 per cent of production from those mines would be permitted to be sold in the open market under the new hybrid lease agreement.

Government, Reforms, Mining
As part of this, highly placed sources said the government would discontinue the practice of offering mining rights for mineral resources, including coal, to companies for captive use. Pixabay

Sources said the government has accepted these recommendations and necessary changes in mineral laws would be made to allow the reform measures to take shape.

“Captive mining rights do not result in optimal extraction of mineral resources, making the activity uneconomic. Often companies with captive leases are forced to contain production as extra production would cause loss of revenue to them in the absence of commercial selling right for surplus production. Thus, a hybrid agreement will allow full potential of mineral block to be realised and also help both the Centre and the state to increase their earnings,” said a former head of Coal India Ltd asking not to be named.

The high level committee has suggested that changes in grant of mineral rights with the option to do both captive and commercial mining may be applied prospectively for all exploration and mining activities. In addition to extraction of main mineral, the hybrid model will also allow leaseholders to extract other minerals found in their mine lease area on payment of 10 per cent of the quoted revenue share for the main mineral.

For existing captive mines allocated before the auction mechanism was made mandatory for grant of mineral leases, the high level committee has suggested the companies can use surplus mineral in their new end-use units formed under a joint venture agreement with a minimum 26 per cent shareholding.

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Mining has been identified as a critical activity that needs a big push to help other capital intensive and employment generating industries. The sector is braving a slowdown that has seen declining investment and production. (IANS)

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Our Government is Working To Eliminate Tuberculosis From The Country by 2025: Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan

He said to achieve the goal, the government's programme 'Mission Indradhanush' is already operational

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Harsh Vardhan
Referring to the Union Government's Ayushman Bharat scheme, Dr. Harsh Vardhan called it an "ambitious programme", under which 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres will be set up across India by the end of 2022. Wikimedia Commons

The central government is working to eradicate tuberculosis from India by 2015 besides taking active measures to eliminate diseases like kala-azar and measles from the country, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday.

“By 2025, we wish to eliminate tuberculosis from India. We have taken up an amibitious universal immunisation programme delivered to 100 per cent people all over the country,” the minister told mediapersons on the sidelines of the Rotary India Centennial Summit here.

He said to achieve the goal, the government’s programme ‘Mission Indradhanush’ is already operational.

“We are also working for the elimination of many other diseases in the country like Kala-azar and measles,” the minister said.

Tuberculosis
Here are Symptoms associated with Tuberculosis. Wikimedia Commons

Refering to the Union government’s Ayushman Bharat scheme, he called it an “ambitious programme”, under which 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres will be set up across India by the end of 2022.

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“So far, 30,000 are being set up and by March-end we will have around 40,000 centres”, he said. (IANS)