Govt keen on restoring mining operations

Minister for Law T B Jayachandra, on Wednesday said the government is keen to restore mining operations by resolving all issues related to the sector.

Addressing the conference on “Mining in Karnataka- Restoring normal operations,” organised by Assocham, he said the government has formed a Cabinet sub-committee to discuss ways of resolving the crisis. Though there are some legal hurdles, the government would take all possible steps to restore mining operations.

Jayachandra said the government would sympathetically look into issues dogging the mining lease owners, especially those related to delay in obtaining clearances and assured to look at identifying and reserving mineral land so that no new industries or settlements are allowed on such land.

He emphasised the need for the value addition to iron ore to generate employment and add revenue to the exchequer.

Mining Department Secretary Tushar Giri Nath said the State government was taking every possible measure to ensure that required iron ore was mined in Karnataka.
The State government was also trying to upgrade infrastructure in areas around mines so that more licences may be granted and ore production scaled up.

Assocham Southern Region Task Force Chairman on Manufacturing Vinod Nowal highlighted the problems faced by steel and allied industries due to shortage of iron ore following the ban on mining.

He said that while requirement of steel industries dependent on Karnataka for iron ore was 45 MT, the amount of iron ore approved by Supreme Court was 30 MT.

Of this, present availability from production was just 15 MT, a mere 50 per cent of the requirement.

He called for proactive approach to smoothen the mining sector so that availability of iron ore may be increased. He pointed that imposition of 12 per cent forest development tax the State government was making steel costlier in State than those produced in other states.

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