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Curtain Raiser for ‘3rd National Conclave on Mines and Minerals’

The Ministry of Mines organized the 1stNational Conclave on Mines & Minerals on 4-5 July, 2016 at Raipur and 2ndNational Conclave on Mines & Minerals on 15th Feb 2017 at New Delhi. In these conclaves, the representatives of State Governments, mining industries, industry associations, financial & academic institutions, and others participated and raised various issues, challenges and opportunities in the mining sector to realize its optimum potential for the sustainable development. Both the National Mining Conclaves were great success and had overwhelming participation. All the participants expressed great satisfaction on the organization and outcome of the conclaves.

Several new initiatives have been taken in the ministry since the last conclave. The Mineral Auction Rules have been amended, Sand Mining Policy is likely to be finalized, key modules of MTS are likely to be rolled out, launch of Star Rating Scheme for Minor Minerals, Mining Surveillance System implementation for Minor Minerals and many other schemes in the recent past. The implementation of these and other initiatives being taken, requires harmonization of ends and objectives together with the capacity building of the stakeholders. For this, intensive and wide interaction is required, between all stakeholders, such as the government bodies responsible for mineral conservation, development, policy & regulation and the mining industry. The Conclave will provide an effective platform to showcase the recent policy initiatives by the Government of India and enable intensive discussion on the issues, challenges and opportunities in the mining sector to realize its optimum potential for the sustainable development of the country. It will help the Central Government to further improve the policy environment to promote best practices and addressing various issues in the mining sector. It will strengthen the efforts of the Ministry in enabling the mining sector to contribute its fullest to foster the rapid growth of national economy and employment generation.

Owing to the immense benefits of the conclave as mentioned above, the participation of the industry and other stakeholders in the earlier conclaves was kept free of charge for encouraging their participation and the same will be continued in this conclave. Both the public and the private mining companies will actively take part in the conclave. Besides this, the metal and the allied sector, which is involved in the mining activity would also participate in the conclave. This would provide an effective platform to the various Government organizations of the mining sector, viz. Union Mines Ministry, State Mining Departments, regulators such as IBM &DGMs, explorations entities GSI&NMET, etc. to interact with the mining and allied industry stakeholders.

The astounding success and immense utility of earlier National Conclaves on Mines & Minerals to gather solidarity in approach for addressing the issues in the mining sector, the Ministry of Mines is organizing 3rd National Conclave on Mines & Minerals on 20th March 2018 in Convention Hall, Hotel Ashoka New Delhi. 

Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) has agreed to partner in the event. The PSUs which are closely associated with the mining activity directly or as an integral part of their production process, would be one of the major stakeholders assisting the Ministry in organizing the conclave. These PSUs are NALCO, HCL&MECL under the Ministry of Mines and the companies in which the government stake is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Mines, viz. HZL&BALCO.

Hon’ble Minister of Mines, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar has consented to give the awards for ‘5 Star’ rating in the conclave to the 20 best performing mines which are star rated. The Star rating system evaluates performance of mines on technical, socio-economic, environmental parameters; final and progressive mine closure and adoption of international standards with the objective to bring standardization in mining operations and for minimizing impacts of mining. The extension of implementation of the Star Rating System for minor mineral mines for will be discussed in the conclave.

The launch of Portal for PMKKKY monitoring along with Registration and Returns module of MTS will also be done by the Hon’ble Minister of Mines, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar during the award function in the conclave. MTS primarily involves automating the entire concession life-cycle, starting from identification of area and ending with closure of the mine; and connecting the various stakeholders for real-time transfer of electronic files and exchange of data. Wipro Ltd. is the Implementation Agency for Mining Tenement System, which has been engaged by Indian Bureau of Mines for its development and implementation.

The existing 14500 users of the registration and the returns module will be migrated into the new system. The daily returns may be filed from the Mobile App or directly on the online portal. The filing of monthly returns will have to be done on the new system starting this month’s return onwards. The MTS software has to be integrated not only with the existing IT systems of the States, but several other existing IT applications viz. Aadhar, RTO data, GST, etc., for its effective implementation.

MTS will facilitate end to end national scale accounting of all the minerals produced in the country from the pithead to its end use, reducing the scope for illegal mining, royalty evasion, etc. and enhancing the data processing with regard to the mineral sector.

Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojna (PMKKKY) scheme is to be implemented by the funds collected under District Mineral Foundations (DMF) to be utilized for the welfare and development of the mining affected areas. The portal for the monitoring the implementation of PMKKKY is being implemented through providing for change control in the MTS project owing to its backward integration with OAS for fund collection.

The module for monitoring portal of PMKKKY implementation captures from the collection and accrual of funds, to its utilization and monitoring for implementation of projects.

The portal will be utilized not only from the perspective of monitoring from the Centre and State level but will also help online monitoring of fund collection and projects implementation at each of the district level where DMF has been established. 

The portal will disseminate key information about the progress of works being implemented to the local population and other stakeholders working in the direction of ensuring maximum transparency. This will facilitate the participatory approach of the affected people and stakeholders in the implementation of projects under PMKKKY and help ameliorate their grievances.

The user interface for input and monitoring will be created in the system at district level. The basic data input has to be done by the respective DMFs, about the implementation of projects under PMKKKY such as project details, start date, targeted date, sanctioned and spent amount, progress, GIS enabled monitoring, beneficiaries, affected people and areas, etc.

Pursuant to the decision taken in the Ministers’ Conference with the State Mining Ministers on 4th May, 2017, a Committee under the chairmanship of Union Mines Secretary with senior officials from the States of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh, was constituted on 18th May, 2017, to study the existing system of sand mining in various States and suggest a comprehensive sand mining policy/ guidelines as a model for replication by the States to address concerns in this sector, such as availability of sand in terms of demand and supply, illegal mining issues, use of MSS, pricing of sand, feasibility of M-Sand (Manufactured sand) and of the import of sand, testing facility & quality of sand, size of mineral concessions, etc.

The committee has studied existing models of sand mining and usage, Minor Mineral Rules / sand mining rules of 14 State, demand supply assessment, Identification of sand reaches, assessment of the quality of District Survey Reports being prepared by States, method of allotment of boulder quarries, quality checking norms for imported sand, sourcing of sand by major consumers and Government agencies and legal aspects of semi mechanical and mechanical mining.

The report of the committee is likely to be finalized till then. Hon’ble Minister of Mines, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar has consented to release the report in the conclave function.
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