New mining policy to attract investment of one lakh crore
Bhubaneswar, July 7: Union Minister of State for Mining T Subbarami Reddy today said the new mining policy, to be announced within two months, will attract investment of one lakh crores in the next five years.
Talking to newsmen here, Mr Reddy said India has vast deposits of bauxite worth over Rs 66,000 crore, alumina deposits of nearly Rs 9 lakh crore, besides 11,000 million ton of iron ore.
''Despite such a huge deposit of minerals, major industrial houses are not coming forward as we have not been able to explore these resources due to resource crunch,'' he said.
''The country has nearly six lakh crore of gold deposit, yet we are virtually not able to explore the resources,'' Mr Reddy said.
The new mining policy, he said, would focus on the private investment in the exploration of mineral resources besides the use of modern technology.
The new policy would also ensure that there should not be much delay in the sanction and exploration of mines, the minister said adding that a high power committee would be set up which would review the progress in every fortnight.
The Union Minister said all efforts would be taken to protect the environment and ensure welfare of the tribals, who more often than not become the victim in the process.
Mr Reddy said during the last five years additional reserves of 111.5 mt iron ore, 13.09 mt of manganese and 2.2 mt of bauxite had been detected in Orissa by the Geological Survey of India(GSI). During the period, low level iron ore in Bonai belt in Keonjhar district had been identified along with the new bauxite plateaus in non iron manganese belt of Bonai region.
The Union Minister regretted that Orissa despite having vast deposits of mineral resources had failed to explore these. The exploration of the minerals in the state was virtually negligible, he said adding entire economy could be transformed if the state took little initiative to explore the minerals.
Mr Reddy said he was against allotment of major chunk mines in favour of few business houses. There should be rational use of the mines, he said adding others should not be deprived of the mines just because some industrial houses required huge mines for their establishment.