July 11, 2016

Portal for responding to miners’ queries in a month

In a bid to increase transparency in mining sector, the government will set up a web portal in a months time to facilitate interactions among mine owners, the Centre and states for speedy response to different queries.

“I have instructed my officials to put up within 30 days an online interface between mine owners, the Centre and the states, so that every query is available on the website, including timelines for response to those queries,” Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines minister Goyal told reporters here. The minister said this one-month period is for creating the entire infrastructure for the portal including software development.

The minister was of the view that this is in the interest of transparency, so that nobody can delay approvals for extraneous reasons. Goyal also talked about District Mineral Foundation under New National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP), which is expected to raise funds to the tune of Rs 6000 crore from mining sector.

The funds generation under the new policy will be utilised for those affected by direct mining-related operations such as excavation, mining, blasting and waste disposal. The fund will also be used to address indirect impacts like contamination of water, soil and air quality, reduction in stream flows and depletion of ground water levels. The minister was of the view that the funds so collected under the DMF would be more than what could be spent in many cases.

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