Jaipur: Public Relations, Energy, New and Renewable Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Rajendra Shukla has stressed the need to simplify process for environmental clearance to minor minerals mines. He also urged the Central government to undertake maximum prospecting works in Madhya Pradesh through cooperation of Central Government, Mineral Exploration Corporation and Geological Survey of India. Lauding revolutionary steps taken by the Central government in mining sector, Shukla informed that Madhya Pradesh government has chalked out draft rules under PM’s Mining Areas Scheme to set up District mining foundations in MP. Shukla was addressing a convention of Mineral Resources Ministers at Jaipur on Friday. It was chaired by Union Minister for Mines and Steel Narendra Singh Tomar. State’s Secretary Mineral Resources Sheo Shekhar Shukla and other departmental officers were also present on the occasion.

Shukla said that accounts have been opened in all districts to set up district mining foundations. Directives have also been given to chalk out projects under Prime Minister’s Mining Areas Welfare Scheme. He informed that as per directives of Central government, process has been started to recover amounts contributed to district mining foundations. A sum of Rs 120.23 crore has been recovered under this head from January 12 to April 30, 2016. Similar action has been taken for recovery of amounts under National Mineral Exploration Trust. Under it, Rs 18.64 crore has been recovered.

The Minister said that he is pleased to inform that Madhya Pradesh government has adopted e-auction system for minor minerals. This has not only enhanced transparency, but annual revenue from sand mining has also increased from Rs 150 crore to Rs 1500 crore. Now, all minor minerals on government land are being e-auctioned. The Minister said that along with introduction of e-transit passes to curb illegal mining, transportation etc, provisions for legal action have also been made more stringent.

Shukla said that NIT has been released for e-auction of 4 blocks of major minerals in the state. Of these, 3 limestone blocks are being auctioned for mining lease. Diamond block in Panna district is being auctioned for issuance of composite licence. Total estimated value of mineral wealth to be auctioned is Rs 2,000 crore.

Shukla said that to ensure smooth conduct of mining in state’s mines and prevention of environmental damage, environmental no-objection certificates are being issued through State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority, District Level Expert Appraisal Committees and District Level Environmental Impact Assessment Authorities. During last 2 months, District Level Environmental Impact Assessment Authorities have disposed of 524 out of 1475 cases of environmental no-objection certificate. Besides, these certificates have also been issued to mines of over 5 hectare area.

Shukla informed that mining revenue of Rs 3600 crore has been recovered due to monitoring of mining areas in the state. This amount is expected to exceed Rs 5,000 crore in coming years due to simplification and electronisation of processes. He said that arrangements are being made to issue online e-transit passes to lease holders and contractors of Mineral Resources Department. Arrangements to issue online mining plan have also been made.

Shukla said that online arrangements are being made to deposit revenue receipts. MoU is proposed to be signed with Central Government’s public sector undertakings for exploration of miners through scientific methods and identify economically viable mineral deposits. This will lead to establishment of new mineral-based industries in the state generating maximum employment.

Shukla lauded Central government’s initiative for extensive discussions with state governments on issues, challenges and opportunities in mining sector and its revolutionary steps in the sector. On behalf of the state government, he assured to undertake minerals development in the state in accordance with directives of the Central government.