R'than mining sector to run on PPP model, Raje brings in new policy

The mining sector of Rajasthan will now run on public-private partnership model. The state government is coming up with its new Mines and Mineral Policy, 2014 which will focus on utilising the unexplored mineral reserves of the state on the PPP model.

Despite rampant problem of illegal mining, the state government is also planning to increase its mining coverage from 0.4 per cent to one per cent of the total area.

“The draft of mineral policy would be uploaded in the Mines and Geology Department’s website for the public’s suggestion and comments. The policy will encourage PPP model in mining and mineral sector. The state government has also selected seven mineral companies that would seek joint ventures in exploration of the rich mineral reserves of the state,” said Raj Kumar Rinwa, Minister for Mines and Minerals.

Country's scientists have been successful in exploring space, but little has been done to explore the land’s rich mineral resources, he added.

Under the policy, procedures have been made simpler for private companies. Department officials informed that Rajasthan is second to Jharkhand in mineral wealth and next to Odisha in mineral exploration, yet only half of the state’s potential has been explored.

“The area under mining is 0.4 per cent of Rajasthan and a huge hue and cry is made. We want to increase it at least up to one per cent,” said Ashok Singhvi, Principal Secretary, Mines.

Singhvi informed that the state has huge potential for the fertiliser industry and the Rajasthan government will soon come up with a policy to explore potash and rock phosphate in joint ventures.

“Fertilisers is yet another sector where Rajasthan can lead the country. Considering the immense potential, the government is in the process of framing an exclusive policy to explore potash and rock phosphate,” said Singhvi. Rajasthan would focus on developing gypsum, potash, steel grade dolomite and rock phosphate zones where it would encourage joint ventures, he added.

Officials informed that presently there are four hydrocarbon basins and there are huge deposits of lignite in Jalore, Barmer, Bikaner and Nagaur.

Currently, 1,700 MW of power is being generated with lignite as the base. Once the zones are created, the state would be able to utilise its lignite deposits for bigger power generation.

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