New mining policy will bring a booming the mining sector: Reddy

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Mumbai, Feb 22 (UNI) Union Minister of State for Mines Subbarami Reddy today said that the new mining policy, to be implemented in a couple of months, will give a boom to the mining sector in the country.

Dr Reddy was in the city to inaugurate the three-day ''Aluminium India 2008'' exhibition in which all the Indian players like NALCO, HINDALCO, BALCO, Vedanta Resources and 124 companies from 21 countries are participating.

He stressed on working for the betterment of the tribals and also on taking care of the environment, where the mining plants would be set up.

''There is no division of opinion on this issue in UP as the Leftists also want the betterment of the tribals and the government is doing the same,'' he added.

When asked why there was a delay in implementing the new mining policy, he said that the policy had to be discussed with the state governments and other chambers before giving the final nod.

Dr Reddy said the country needs FDI in gold and diamond mining sector where a huge sum is required as investment.

Citing the figures, the Mining Minister said the country imports gold/diamond worth Rs 1,40,000 crore despite the fact that it produces 800 million tonnes of gold. The country has the capacity to produce more gold and diamond and for that FDI is essential, he added.

Dr Reddy said currently the country produces 1.2 million tonnes of aluminium and in five years it is expected to reach five million tonnes. However, he urged the industrialists to take up the production to 10 million tonnes.

Dr Reddy later told reporters that the new mining policy will increase the royalty of the states and gave the example that Orissa, which is getting Rs 1,000 crore as royalty, will get Rs 3,000 crore.

He said that India has 18.5 sq km of mining land and is the eighth largest producer of aluminium, and its demand will grow by 14 per cent this year.

UNI JM NM PDT KP1455

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