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Not single block of 48 working mines begins operation after 4 months of possession hand over: FIMI

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NEW DELHI: Not a single mine has started operations even after four months of auction and handover of 48 working mines to new allottees, resulting in unemployment of workers in the present difficult times, mining sector body FIMI has claimed.

The mining leases of these 48 mines expired in March.

In a letter to mines secretary Sushil Kumar, FIMI Secretary General R K Sharma said, “We had brought out that as a result of the mines expiring on March 31, 2020, there will be a loss of 2,64,000 jobs … The mines were duly auctioned and the possession has already been handed over to the new allottees. So far, even after four months, not a single mine has started operation.”

Sharma said that it will take some more time for these mines to be operational as most of the allottees who have made unsustainably high bids are now taking time to commence operations.

“As a result, the unemployed workers, engaged directly and indirectly, continue to be on the road during the present difficult time,” he said.

In the letter, the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) also drew the attention of the government towards the Centre’s proposal to repeal “Section 10A(2)(b) from the MMDR Act, 1957.”

Sharma said that if the particular section of MMDR was not repealed and the existing concessionaires were allowed to convert their reconnaissance permit (RP) to prospecting licence (PL) and PL to mining lease (ML) and there will be additional job creation through these 572 concessions–179 PL and 393 ML.

There are three kinds of mineral concessions — RP, PL and mining lease.

RP is granted for preliminary prospecting of a mineral through regional, aerial, geophysical or geochemical surveys and geological mapping.

Prospecting licence is granted for undertaking operations for the purpose of exploring, locating or proving mineral deposit.

A prospecting licence holder has preferential right to obtain mining lease in the area concerned.

Taking an average of 100 employees per mine in the initial stage, there will be an employment generation of 39,300 jobs directly, Sharma said.

“Since the ratio of direct to indirect employment in mining sector is 1:10, the total employment generation will be 4,32,000 jobs (39,300 direct and 3,93,000 indirect employment),” he added.

“We therefore request that the repealing of Section 10(A)(2)(b) may not be pursued and the existing concession holders be allowed to convert their RP into PL and PL into ML,” he said.

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