Odisha govt likely to auction 17-18 mines this year

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Bhubaneswar : The Odisha government is planning to put up around 18 mining blocks including iron ore mines for auction this financial year, said Union mines secretary Anil G. Mukim on Friday.

After meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the mines secretary said more mines should be put on auction.

"I have been given to understand by the state government that they would put up 17 to 18 mining blocks including iron ore mines for auction this year," Mukim added.

Describing Odisha as the mining capital of the country, he said the state contributes in a very substantive manner as far as mining activities are concerned.

The secretary also praised the state government for collection of funds through the District Mineral Foundation (DMF).

DMF fund is a contribution of mines lease holders, which is being spent in the mining affected areas for the development of the local people.

"Odisha is very pro-active. Not only more mining auctions are taking place but over Rs 5,000 crore has been collected under DMF and projects are approved from the mining fund. Monetary mechanism has been put in place under DMF," said the Union mines secretary.

He further stated that Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh are major mining states.

In a review meeting, the issues relating to auctioning of mines, environment, forest clearances and ease of doing business in mining sector were discussed. Mukim said that Ministry of Mines is taking all steps to remove bottlenecks and provide ease of doing business in the mining sector.