July 11, 2017

Speaking at ‘Indian Mining Industry 2030 – Way Forward’ in New Delhi.

Every time they came to me, it was in the aegis of FIMI or one of the other of the associations which had their own agenda to pursue. So, we really never got down to understanding what is it that is inhibiting this industry, per se?

Today, I just want to hear from all of you while Mr Arun Kumar has said what are the initiatives, what good stuff is happening. And, FICCI is a 90-year old organisation, they have been hearing this for the last 90 years. But, the harsh reality is we are nowhere in mining as a nation. We are what, 2% of the world’s mining activity? We have huge amount of resources, hardly exploited. In some sense, I have been expressing my unhappiness of late that India was so weak in its own ability to imagine that we can adequately provide for coal for our power plants. And, therefore, we have installed 83,100 MW of imported coal-based thermal power plants partially or almost in many cases fully imported coal-based. And they are all suffering today.

Sadly, 10 years/15 years back, if we could have thought let’s try to push and become self-sufficient, this situation wouldn’t have been there. So, we have in effect, caused the nation a liability to continue to import 1 lakh crore worth of coal for the next 25 years. And, the coal in India will remain below the ground, I don’t know how many more years before it gets what? Fossilized literally, or dinosaurized or whatever! And the same could happen with many other minerals, with changing technologies, changing product designs, one doesn’t know how long this industry or a particular industry is going to continue to be used. God knows, if somebody comes out with a better alternative to iron ore tomorrow. Already, we are hearing of cars moving towards plastics. And, who knows that some new technologies may bring out some product through 3D manufacturing or something and we may find some more minerals becoming redundant, God knows, I really don’t know.

So, as a nation we need to reflect whether we are really achieving something good, big enough, to satisfy the needs of a billion-plus people. Can we aim for something which is game-changing, something which is dramatically different from the past? Statistically, and all, we may be doing very well. I am told we have grown 8.5%, in volumes 17%, and value, of course, that’s a very disturbing thing, which means there is a 10% inflation. Technically, that’s the only way you can do that.

But, the reality is that that is not what this country can be satisfied with. So, I wish and I believe there’s a longer programme even after I have gone away. But, I wish you would reflect. It’s very nice to have reports and way forward and all, reflect on what is wrong in our system, in the government system. While I am personally myself very keen that everything should be transparent, auction, blah, blah. But, now I am realizing that on exploration while I would like to do maybe 100 times faster exploration, the detriment is that because of the auction process being only after exploration, the private sector has almost disappeared from the exploration activity. So, we only have MECL and Geological Survey of India doing exploration in the country today.

But, we have a law which is in the country. Can we examine ways in which we can speed up this exploration? Can we work together with the mining industry and create some entities? Can we look even at a public-private partnership to make exploration happen faster? What needs to be done, what is the prioritization of minerals? Is there any way we can know where are the gold reserves? I am told gold imports have literally doubled this year. All of 2016, it was 510 tonnes, 2017 – it’s 521 tonnes January to June itself. It’s a serious issue, of course, there could be an element of smuggling also reducing with the fear after demonetization, GST coming in, value getting captured, PAN card becoming compulsory, all of these are good steps in national interest that Prime Minister Modi has initiated and is very-very focused on. He wants to make this country a honest country to live in and work in.

That will also mean the mining industry will have to adapt to this change. I mean we need not beat around the bush, we all know what are the evils of the mining industry for the last 100 years. The conditions of mining, the conditions of labour in mining, technology levels in mining, the inefficient mining, all of that is a matter of record, a matter of fact. We need not beat around the bush all the time. Let’s see what we can do differently in the future. So, I believe I am told most of you are from the mining industry who are in this room. How many of you are the right side of 40 years old?

Com’on I don’t have to specify what’s the right side of 40! Madam, you are below 40, right? Can you put up your hand or are you so hesitant? And, you have some serious interest on mining, can I assume that or are you just coming to fill up the room, so FICCI doesn’t have a empty room when a Minister comes? So, Deedarji, find out who are those below 40 in the mining industry. Get them into a room for the next 3 days or whenever you can at the earliest opportunity. Get them to sit down and let them come out with a position paper. With due respect to KPNG and all the effort that’s gone into this, I want to know what the youngsters feel can be done to transform the mining sector. And, if they need any help, any data, any secretarial assistance, any governmental inputs on the legal framework or anything, we will ensure that the Ministry provides that. But, at the earliest available opportunity, and you know me, I prefer if it can start today afternoon.

On a serious note, we really need to think differently. थोड़ा out of the box thinking की आवश्यकता है इस फील्ड में, बहुत steady state progress सा चल रहा है बहुत सालों से. So, that’s the only one thing that I wanted to say, the rest I want to hear from all of you, even from the righter side of 40. With your long years and experience in this industry, where are we going wrong, forget the past, where are we going wrong and what we can do to have a quantum jump in an inefficient and effective manner, not through illegal mining, not through bad labour practices and all of that. How can we productivity into this system? How can we bring in quantum leap in our mining activities, honestly? That’s what I would like to hear from all of you. Thank you.

I have lots of things; I can speak till the cows come home. Those of you who have attended my functions know that so I would rather keep quiet and I want to hear from all of you.

Panel: Thank you. Very provocative and ………. mines, a wonderful stimulating toast to all of us in mining industry. I personally, totally agree with honourable Minister that new thought process, new minds should come to churn. With this, on behalf of the FICCI and the mining committee, since I chair this committee, I have the honour of responsibility of speaking about mines very frankly and openly. So, may I request all the members here if you can come forward and you can ask your questions, clarifications, something like that, suggestions. Honourable Minister has kindly agreed to listen to that and he will give his own opinion on that. To structure that, what my suggestion is that, if you can raise your hand and you will club together. Maybe seeing the time, we may have to restrict the suggestions cum questions to few numbers. So, we structure that a way that individual may ask maybe one or two question and club in one sort and then we will request the honourable Minister or honourable Secretary, both from the Ministry of Mines and this team to come up and respond. To that, first may I request from the industry, Mr Rahul Baldota.

Q: Sir, good morning. Thank you so much, sir, really appreciate your thoughts. Sir, I would like to take that a little forward. Sir, when the act and rules came, the major concentration of the government was on the minerals which were now being notified like iron ore, coal and lime stone. But, what has not been thought about in detail was the other minerals like, you know, the base metals, the technology metals, the critical minerals. So, what has happened in the process is that the exploration as you rightly said has taken a back seat and if you see the Part B minerals of the Act, there is no private sector participation allowed for exploration at all in these minerals. So, which was there earlier, has actually now got out of the… it has become the domain of only the government to do exploration of Part B minerals.

So, our request is if Part B minerals also can be allowed for exploration by the private sector and the earlier scheme which allowed a reconnaissance permit, if that can be allowed exclusively, not a non-exclusive, followed by an auction is fine. I mean transparency through auction is acceptable to us sir, but please allow a reconnaissance permit, only then the new areas will come out, is one request from our side sir.

Panel: If you have any question on the particular topic, we can club together, on the particular topic of are the Part B mineral like …… the ….. lithium, any question on that.

Q: I am Col. Harmeet Singh Sethia, I am from the Dalmiya Group. And, start point obviously is that as a group, we are adapting to change, whatever the government of India has decided very clearly. And I would like to put it on record like the honourable Secretary said that 1,22,000 crores is what is likely to come, we have committed 20,000 crores to that and we already got 3 bids, we have already taken part in that and have bid for that. So, we are serious players and we think that we should come into the world environment very clearly.

The areas which can assist and support in moving towards that, I am just tagging 3 points, there are many, but I think for the space of time, I just tag three of them. One issue very clearly is that the government is on its effort to put transparency space, has done the right thing. The transfer of mines is an issue which has not been cleared till now, because, if a group which is having 10 mines and is wanting to consolidate that and create a larger company and move forward. Why should there be transfer law, this is going to hold it back. So, this is something which we request should be studied for the larger community that is one point. I leave it that. We have sent enough representations.

The second part is the stamp duties which are done when mines are auctioned and given and also pre-auctioned mines. In our state, you will end up paying a 10 crore rupees, I am just giving a broad figure. In another state, you end up paying Rs 200 crore. I mean, how can it happen? We are in the same country. There can be a difference of 10 crores, 15 crores, 20 crores. It cannot be 10 times, 20 times, the stamp duty rules and regulations are very clear on this subject. But, somehow we have also represented on this, it is not only for us, it’s for the large industry and then only the industry can, at least the larger players can grow on this.

Last point sir, again for the industry sir. It is also that when IBM, whenever auctions are happening, the prices are being set by IBM, which is the right thing to do, nothing wrong in that. But, in all examples whatever happens is that the outlier is always left out, this is not happening. For example, in the limestone industry, the price of limestone ranging in the range of Rs 500, why? Because there is one mine in this country. One mine! And, which is also on the Supreme Court orders, has to send limestone from India to Bangladesh and not leaving the company. And, therefore, the price of that mine goes up and that constitutes 30% of the cost of the limestone price. This is incorrect. I think this affects the entire industry.

A : The royalty is fixed on this price by IBM?
The price of limestone is fixed by IBM sir, the price is fixed by taking average of sale for the entire year.

The limestone mines has gone less than 40-50% on top of that, so how does it matter. Even if that outlier is making the price high, how does it matter when in the auction it’s discovering a much bigger value? Start point ज्यादा हो कम हो, अगर start point ज्यादा हो और कोई bidder ही नहीं आये तो मैं समझ सकता हूँ| सोच लीजिये|

But, other two points are valid. Of course, I will have to have a conversation with some states, एक ज़रा FICCI मुझे बात करके सबसे, state-wise what are the different levies एक बनवादें, हम भी अपनी तरफ से बनवायेंगे| We can match the two and then we will talk to some of the outlier states there. Think it over, अगर यह IBM pricing कुछ तंग कर रही है जिसकी वजह से कोई किसी को तकलीफ हो रही है तो I am ready to look at that outlier.

Q: Basically, this mines is paying some environmental duty which is jacking up the sale price and the prices which are published by the IBM, it is not only for the auction purposes sir, these prices are viewed by the entire world sir for making any green field investment. If the prices are so high, in fact, your FDI is going to be…. Sir, these are not only the prices are, it’s not that only auctions are affected. These forms the basic prices for making a green field investment, all financial modelings are done based on these figures only sir.

A: Cement industry is charging an arm and a leg, वह गडकरी का भाषण नहीं सुना है लगता है आपने! Limestone के लिए तो I don’t think कोई merit दिखता नहीं है prima facie मुझे|  Any case, I just saw the auction prices, except for one mine which Pena Cement got at 8%, everybody else is at very high price of auction value, percentage value. Anyway, if there is something more to it, let me know.

Q: Sir, this is Sovik Majumdar from Vedanta. Sir, very heartening to know that now at India government level, we are talking about production increase, we are talking about 40-50% production increase of all minerals which till recently it was seen as a sort of like something bad doing more production.

Also, very heartening to know that you have really hit the nail by saying that all of a sudden, the explorers, the actual people who know the exploration they have got vanished. Now, if we look at our present system, what has happened is earlier … system is there, now we have moved into a very progressive system but whilst doing so many certain changes what is required is, say for example, what is happening is, today, the government is doing the exploration that is coming from G4 level to G3 level and G3 level we are giving PL cum ML. And then government is doing further exploration and directly going for the ML route up to G2 level of UNCC classification. With that what is happening, a lot of time is getting blocked, number 1. And number 2 the expertise, so, in order to come out from there, I mean what we as industry feel that can we do something what, maybe, the oil industry has done, which is basically, OALP (Open Acreage Licensing Policy), wherein, at G4 level itself, the industry is inviting people going for the bid, people are bidding, and coming with the sort of, you know, first is the G4 to G3 level of exploration, and at G3 level of exploration further bidding and whosoever takes it and then takes it forward from G3 to G2 to G1. So, with this perhaps, a sort of, you know, the ……….. will come up in this sector.

That is number 1, in exploration. In fact, I have got a paper which I am presenting on this sir, today, late in the morning. And we believe that this will really galvanize that entire sector wherein the government will do what? Government will basically do the, what you call is, Obvious Geological Potential. Sir, I will give you only one thing. Today, as per GSI, you have got 5,75,000 sq. km. under OGP, i.e. Obvious Geological Potential. Out of this OGP, only 10% that is around 54,000 sq. km. is under mining. So, what country needs? Country needs basically the entire 100% of OGP to come on to the exploration of mines, immediately, in next maybe 2 to 3 years time.

Now, how we can do it? That cannot be done if government is doing the way it is done, that the government agencies are going for exploring from G4 to G3 to G2 and then some minerals are going directly in ML route, some minerals are going in PL and ML route. If we open this entire 5,75,000 sq. km. by saying that open bidding, let the industry come, let the people come, do the preliminary exploration, as simple as OALP, and then do the reconnaissance, go for G3 and then go to the…….

A: What the people tell us is that private sector will only do exploration if they are allowed to mine the product that they find after exploration. Whereas the law as it stands says that we can give you the mine, whether by auction bidding or any process, there we are not very finicky because it’s a contractual work, to do the exploration up to a certain level whichever level he will tell you. After  that, once we have a fair idea of what is the mineral there then only we are allowed to auction for you to do further processing and mining the mineral.

Problem is that in the past, all these used to be given away almost free, even if we auction it along with the mining rights, we will not get any value. Because it’s a risk, nobody is going to pay for that risk. They will say we are spending money that itself is the value of our risk. But the reality is 29 mines that we have auctioned as he said,  is going to give government an additional revenue of 93,000 crores, which was otherwise the profit of these mining companies including yours, right? So, in effect, wealth… and we don’t mind you make good profit, you make a fair profit. But, we cannot have a situation where the nation’s mineral resources only go to fill the pockets of a certain set of companies and not to serve the poor of this company, which is why thought it’s important to have the mineral tagged to a certain level, explored to a certain level. Once that level is known then the Dalmiyas paid 20,000 crores as he just now announced to us. Otherwise, they would have all got these mines free of charge and that was an additional profit of the Dalmiyas. Sorry my friend, you are just becoming a scapegoat in the example.

You get my point? That 20,000 now will go to serve some poor family, some farmer, people for years who have suffered like Angul.  Angul I am told the poverty has fallen, thanks to all these Talchar mines and all, from 67% to 25% in the last 10-12 years, expected to go down to 5%, BPL families in the next 5-7 years, that’s what the data was given to me.

Q: That’s absolutely correct sir, and it has to happen like this only. I mean all the industry feels that……

A: So, you tell me if we bid out for exploration, if the industry ready? We are very keen but I was told that nobody is coming forward to take exploration work. And we have also kept a share of, you know, additional profit or something for the exploration? So, we can keep that.

Let this young team come up with a proposal, what will excite people to take exploration contract so that even if they explore and find some mineral, they will get some share of whatever comes out of that exploration.

Q: Exactly. That is what in OALP says, that only 5 or 4 basic point is given for the people who brings it from G4 to G3 level.

Secretary: You see, the OALP has come in. It’s a welcome thing. It is for the oil sector. Now, if you look at there is great difference between the oil and the mineral sector. They have identified only 10 basins in the country. Their minimum block of 10 minuteX10 minute is 350 sq. km. So, the level of risk on oil is much much higher than on minerals. So, therefore, both the systems cannot be compared off the hook and we will be hard put to explain the things which I am saying from the dais when people from the other side start saying that did you not notice differences.

Having said that, we are conscious of OALP, as we speak today, our 4-member team has gone over to the Petroleum Ministry today to understand if we can get some learnings from them. So, it is not that I am debunking that system but any miner in this room will know what is the difference between petroleum and natural gas exploration and mineral exploration.

So, let’s not jump to those conclusions. We will study the system and we  will see and we are also arranging a presentation by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas tomorrow to some of the miners who have bid out. So, we are not closed, but there are clear cut differences, we have to acknowledge that, number 1.

Number 2, on the issue of what Mr Bardota said that we go on the other minerals have been kept out of the Part B minerals as you say or the non-notified minerals have been kept out of this. We have had internal discussions and in minutes we have recorded for those minerals we will not go to G2. We will insist on auctions from PL to ML stage, so that leaves a window of exploration and does not burden government agencies to go to G2.

So, I fully recognize that this is not an ideal solution. This is a half-way solution. And, as I said we are having a meeting tomorrow and the bidders are welcome to give their suggestions. But, on our own, we have made it very clear, at least the government of India will not support G2 level exploration in non-notified minerals. To some extent, I think maybe I have addressed the concerns but we will go forward and learn from your suggestions.

Q: On exploration, I think some of the best kind of mineral exploration that has occurred in the world is what we call as ‘Mining Juniors’. These are small groups of picnical experts who know a particular kind of a mineral very well, and they go and search and bring out that mineral. We have never had that model. So, there are brilliant people who know about a particular product and they are not encouraged to take up small scale kind of exploration of a specific mineral. And most of the exploration is in add-on of large companies for whom it’s not very exacting. I think, if we see a lot of Canadian mineral exploration has happened through very small companies, and even some of the like new copper mines that have been discovered in India………

A: Sir, the difference what I am understanding is, these juniors go only where after they discover a metal or a mineral, they get the mineral?

Q: No.

Secretary: I will just clarify the point. You see, juniors are very important and let me also, you know, let’s not talk about systems which are not even in India in the old winner-takes-all system. Juniors did not explore in India, because of various difficulties even in the pre-2015 model, you agree? So, the juniors come for a pot of gold at the end of the day. Once they establish something, they sell it off to a major miner. Now, it’s a windfall scenario under which they operate. I do not discount their value. But, we will try and work out a system which attracts them. But, even in the pre-auction time, juniors never came to India. So, let us keep that in mind also.

A: Maybe, Mr Kumar, but what we can do is, the idea is good. Can we organize that next month? FICCI कर ले| I am happy if you do it. Let’s get 20-40-50 sets of juniors to come to India. Let’s talk to all of them and understand what they want, what we can do within the legal framework, how we can match their expectation and our requirement. If we can get 40-50 sets of these young, or whatever juniors as you call them, to come to India. Let’s try and do that. I am open to it. आप listing वगैरा करने में आप लोग मदद करिए, where we can get lists of people who should be invited. Focus only on such companies, which are in exploration, nobody else, only exploration. Junior हो, senior हो, no problem.

Q: Sir, this junior mining, as a concept Mr Arun Kumar is absolutely right. They take the risk. The biggest risk in exploration is out of 100 they may succeed in 1 or 2. And, they try to sell that right, so, unless that right is going to be possible in India. I don’t think we should invite 40-50 people. Sorry for saying this sir, we will unnecessarily up the ante as if we are going to change our rules and regulations to allow that to happen. It’s a big risk in the world, junior miners, they will be tempted to think that they will come here and they will make the ………….

A: Yeah, he seems to disagree with that.

Q: Absolutely sir, I can debate that.

A: Yeah, you all debate that after I have left. And Arun ji you take a final call on it. Let’s hear from some others.

Q: Sir, I am ………. From the Council on Energy, Environment and water. We are a policy research think tank based in New Delhi. So, my question to you is, are you looking at a framework which prioritizes the minerals, specially strategy on critical minerals.

A: Yeah, from the Day 1 I became Minister, I have been saying we need high value and import substitution minerals first. It’s a very logical thing. It doesn’t need rocket science to understand.

Q: Sir, but if you look at the current, country’s targeting to promote EV …………. If you require certain amount of lithium which is more than the world’s total production right now. So, what I am mean to say, we have done a study way back in 2016 and which identified a set of critical minerals, but we think that this kind of study needs to be institutionalized, a regular research has to be done on this kind of framework and policies have to be updated on the recommendations. Thank you sir.

My name is Om Prakash Gupta, I am independent consultant mining, I want to know either from Secretary of Minister, what the revival plans for the BGML gold mines, have they got any plans to revive these mines, BGML?

A: Not at all.

Secretary: You see the Minister I must say has been saying from Day 1 that we need to focus on high value minerals and strategic minerals. Now, what has been happening over a period of time is that we have been going for the bread and butter minerals like iron ore and limestone. And that is why those auctions are coming on stream now. But, I assure you that we will be looking for this change. In fact, I have with the approval of the Minister instructed DGSI and GSI to plan for a shift of emphasis which will be quantified, because I can keep saying shift of emphasis, which will be quantified and be rolled out. Because, our present reserves and resources of iron ore and limestone, manganese and others, are enough to take us past at least 20-25 years. So, there will be a shift and it will be documented and it will be available in the public domain. Minister is already given us directions and we will work to it.

Q: Thank you so much sir, sir since we are going progressively the all areas where we talk about maybe amendments and all these are required. My name is Harsh Pathak, I am just a Counsel for Mines and overseas as well. Sir, I just have few points I think if we can answer. These are the areas which are pending in the court or somewhere. So, if these things can be answered I think a lot of area will be available.

Sir, number 1 is over 10A-2C where the last date of execution…….

A: यार वह सब अब बाद में, टेक्निकल चीज़ें बाद में, कोई exploration वगैरा के कुछ ideas हैं?

Q: Sir, normally we are finding that you are notifying all the auction notification for mining leases. If you see for limestone, 36 blocks were notified, out of that only 3 were for the composite license. So, states should notify more and more of composite licenses, not of mining leases. See, some of the blocks which were worked for CL but those were notified as ML only and not even 5% is notified as a CL?

Secretary: No, as I said, you see notified minerals which are bulk minerals, easily explorable, you know, that was the point that Mr Bardota was making.  We will tend to go for a ML notification. Other minerals which are base metals which we are also going for ML, we have decided from the government we will not support ML, we will support PL ….. Otherwise, as honorable Minister said you will not, if you do a limestone block with PL ….. you will certainly not get the bids which you are getting, which if I use again Mr Dalmiya’s representative’s case, you will not get with a limestone, if those limestone blocks have PL …. You will end up with less than 10,000.

Q: So, I think if you make it …..  you will definitely get the bids.

Secretary: No, we will get bids but we will get lower bids. You see, if you place a car and you don’t say what is the mileage the car is on and it’s a second hand car, people will bid with that it’s already done 3 lakhs on the odometer. It’s as simple as that.

Q: Sir, I am JK Bhalla. I have worked in Geological Survey of India for almost 32 years, and after that for about 12 years in hydrocarbons. I have been part of the mapping programmes and minerals exploration programmes, laboratory programmes, etc as far as GSI is concerned. Now, what I wanted to say was that the data, the base line data that GSI collected, the programme finished in 1991 or so. That data was collected starting from early 50s to late 1990s, later on that mapping has never been never been updated in spite of the recommendations of many committees. Now, what is happening is that from a grossly insufficient surface and unsurface data, we have chalked out an OGP area, which again if you again the data even that may have to be revised. At least, some areas will go out and many of the areas which have not been included in the OGP may go on.

I know that programme how it happened. Now, you have taken up, I think, the air borne magnetic survey, I don’t know why gravity survey has not been taken up with that. But that is a different point all together. There was an EMGS programme also with that in the OGP area, I think that programme was also there. Now, as far as the acquisition of this data is concerned, the processing of data there will be no problem. We will be interpreting this hugely, costly data on the basis of the ground…. which is very insufficient. So, I would like to say is that I think the last mapping, systematic mapping was taken in 1991. This has to be updated on a larger scale, not on 1/52,000.

Q: Good morning sir, I am Dinesh Kumar. Sir, I just want to ask one thing. There should be some sort of relaxation for carrying out exploration activities in forest area in terms of the current scheduled provision says that only 3 holes can be drilled in 1 sq. km. area. So, this is limiting the true potential of exploring that mineral wealth of that area and it takes time for taking the forest clearance and everything.

I have a …. related question. Now, my name is Dr Naidu, I am representing Mine Labourers Protection Campaign (MLPC) from Jodhpur, Rajasthan. For example, we have been speaking a lot about steel and other industries but stone minerals in India is about 130 billion US dollars based on about 40% accountability. It also employs about 30 lakh workers, 333,517 mines on lease. So, my point is all these progress that we are talking about 65% increase in export and 15% reduction, who is it for and what is the cost, human cost? Now you asked the question, how do we make it better, how do we have inclusive growth. So, my suggestion or our suggestion would be to enforcement of the labour laws that’s where the biggest gap is, second is, adequate representation of mine workers in the DMFT and the gender responsive budgeting, now would be the 3rd point, corporate due diligence which seems to be non-existent, right, and regular inspections and NGO adhoc monitoring any valuation. Those would be my points.

A: NGOs को मोनिटरिंग दे दिया तो जो थोड़ा बहुत देश में हो रहा है वह भी बंद हो जायेगा बॉस| Please, stay out of our system. We will enforce the laws, that’s a very good idea, just stick to your ideas. Don’t get into enforcement.

Q: Sir, can I add something. Sir we are proposing, क्योंकि DMF का जो notification है उसमें एक अच्छा option हो सकता है क्योंकि central के हाथ में jurisdiction है mine workers का enforcement, state के हाथ में नहीं है, इसलिए कहीं कहीं पर mining में workers की स्थिति बहुत…….

A: That’s all only in the hands of the states, centre के हाथ में कुछ नहीं है|

Q: Enforcement centre के हाथ में है mining में. That is the only problem area sir. क्योंकि State mining दे रही है तब उसका labour enforcement जो है वह centre के हाथ में है, आज आप मौजूद हैं और सेक्रेटरी साहब मौजूद हैं सर तो हम लोग propose करते हैं सर कि यदि DMF के अन्दर में mine workers का एक welfare board हो सके तो शायद पूरे देश में mine workers की जो problems है वह sort out हो पायेगा|

A: We will talk to the Labour Ministry. It’s a good idea. We should allow the states to enforce these laws. Because DGMS is a very thin information, it will not be able to do it. Good point.

Q: बिलकुल enforcement में problem इसलिए आ रहा है सर, और जो मैं आपसे propose कर रहा हूँ यह आपके desk पर ही हो पायेगा, Mine Workers Welfare Board सर, यह state level पर नहीं हो पायेगा, यह आपके desk पर ही हो पायेगा| Thank you.

A: By the way, we just formed a committee to look at auction rules also to try and simplify that. Your point on mergers and all is referred to the Law Ministry, I have requested Secretary to pursue it faster. I fully agree with you. If the economic interest is largely changing, just bear in mind, it cannot be a mirror image. When you are merging 4-5-10 companies or two companies also, don’t insist on an exact mirror image as long as the basic ownership remains the same. Talk to law, take some advice, if we are required to make some new rules for that let’s make it. But,  we have to simplify the whole process. We can’t be 97 out of 104 in attractiveness to invest in mining, it’s a shame for all of us, collectively, including me. I hold myself culpable and responsible for that.

So, really, what this team of under-40 should focus on, see what are the various parameters on which the attractiveness to invest in mining is calculated. Why are we 97 out of 104, why are we not 9 out of 104?  And, let’s look, I am willing to change the rules, laws, whatever is required, without compromising on transparency. Just one single, I have only one request, the rest I can accept any number of requests. Transparency compromise नहीं करूँगा, corruption वापिस इस system में आने नहीं देना है, बहुत साल से यह देश ने उम्मीद में बैठे हुए थे कि एक ईमानदार व्यवस्था बने, उसको compromise करने के बगैर whatever suggestions you do I am game for that.

But we have to get this attractiveness back in this system. Private sector or any investor makes profit, I welcome that. Because after all, risk-reward ratio should be maintained, if somebody is taking a risk – tomorrow Dalmiya promised 20,000 crores but if cement prices crash or an alternative is found to cement, then obviously, they are going to be in serious trouble. And I hope you keep abreast with various technologies. Fly Ash is coming in a big way to replace your products, hopefully.

So, but on a serious note, without compromising transparency, let’s see what we need to do to really give a big boost to this sector. Thank you.

Sorry Mr Mukherjee, one more thing for this group which is going to sit down. This time taken in the whole mining process is just too long. From the day somebody decides he wants to get into this business till the day maybe he will finally, on the ground, break a coconut. I think it’s just far too long. Kindly also examine where are those loose ends, how can we bring down timing. We make some beginning with getting the mining leases approved through an IBM software or something, some things have happened, but nothing game-changing as yet.







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