Thursday, August 7, 2014

Despite 100 per cent FDI in mining lukewarm response from global miners

Despite 100 per cent FDI in mining lukewarm response from global miners
Indian Chamber of Commerce organised the '3rd India Metal and Mineral forum in Delhi. During the event, some of the issues that were discussed by the industry experts includes excessive delays in land acquisition, raw material security, allocation of iron ore and coking coal for Integrated steel plants, renewal of mining leases, environmental and forest clearances and tax structure.

On this occasion a Knowledge Report, “Sustainability in the ferrous and non-ferrous sector”, jointly prepared by E&Y and ICC was also released. The objective of the report is to discuss the current situation of coal and mineral sector, challenges faced and recommendations to improve the scenario.

Addressing the gathering Mr Naveen Jindal, Chairman, Jindal Steel & Power, said “We should use the mineral resources available for growth and development of the sector. Government has a major role to play in order to develop a strategy to simplify the licensing part and also to provide a thrust to captive mining.” He stressed that the mineral wealth needed to be developed so that the proceeds may be shared amongst eh citizens of the country. Mr Jindal also emphasized on the need to reduce reliance on imported coal and adopt coal gasification technology. He also stressed that captive coal blocks are necessary to achieve vertical integration, hence economic production.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. G Mohan Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Steel, GoI, said that right environment needs to be created to attract investment in this sector. “Steel demand in the country is likely to grow from 6o kg per capita to 170 kg per capita and to meet this demand we need to put focus on R&D, new technology and better governance mechanism to boost up investment. At the same time we need to ensure that the stakeholders and the community should also be taken along and CSR activities need to be strengthened.”

In his session, Mr S K Roongta, Chairman – ICC Expert Committee on Minerals and Metals & Vice Chairman – BALCO, expressed the urgent need to have proper co-ordination between the government and the industrial players to overcome the hurdles. “The mining business in India would continue to be uncertain and face problems because of uncertainty in regulatory regime, declining global commodity prices and the Mines and Minerals Development & Regulation (MMDR) Bill not being in placed. A robust regulatory framework for the mining sector is still eluding us. These and other hurdles are holding back investments. Despite 100 per cent foreign direct investments allowed in mineral exploration, there is tepid response from global miners.”