Bhubaneswar: The Union Minister for Steel, Mines, Labour & Employment Shri Narendra Singh Tomar met the Chief Minister, Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar today. In the meeting, they held discussions on various issues relating to mining, steel and development in the state of Odisha. The Minister assured every support for the state government in development of steel and mines sector. Shri Tomar apprised Shri Patnaik about various steps that have been taken by the central government for bringing improvements in these areas.
Shri Tomar informed that central government is considering amendments in MMDR act to bring the provision of auction for bulk minerals and is soliciting views of the state governments. State government of Odisha expressed in-principle agreement on the issue. It was also informed by the Minister that in order to increase transparency in the processing of mining concessions, central government has decided to consider only the cases of notified area as default. Cases of non-notified area would be considered only when there are very compelling reasons.
Minister raised the issue of closed iron ore mines subsequent to Supreme Court decision on second and subsequent renewal. It was suggested that state government should take early decision on second and subsequent renewals so that these mines could be restarted for restoring availability of iron ore for steel plants. In this regard, issue of grant of mining lease for Pottangi mines for Nalco, second renewal of Barsua iron ore mines for SAIL and 6 mines of OMDC were discussed. The Chief Minister assured to decide pending cases in next 3 months.
Shri Tomar informed that notification will be issued shortly in case of royalty revision. It is noteworthy that central government had taken a decision on long pending issue of royalty revision earlier. This is going to strengthen the resources of state. There is likely to be an increase in revenue of Odisha by more than Rs. 1600 crore per year.
Shri Patnaik requested the Minister to consider taking over of Neelanchal Ispat Nigam Limited and Idcol Ferro Chrome & Alloys Ltd. by SAIL. Minister assured that he would advise SAIL to consider the issue.