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Mine In India To Make In India

The agenda of Transform, Energise and Clean India is bold and promises to infuse dynamism into the economy

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At the outset, the Budget 2017 looks pro-growth with lot of focus on spurring investments while at the same time trying to stick to fiscal discipline. The Revenue Deficit of 2.3% in Budget Estimates of 2016-17 stands reduced to 2.1% in the Revised Estimates. The Revenue Deficit for next year is pegged at 1.9% , against 2% mandated by the FRBM Act.

The agenda of Transform, Energise and Clean or TEC India is bold and promises to infuse dynamism into the economy. It is good to see a sharp focus on stepping up the rural India - which shall scale up consumption - while at the same time strengthening investments, which shall create more employment opportunities besides giving a fillip to the economy. In roads sector alone, the Government has proposed an investment of Re 97,000 cr which shall provide a new momentum to transportation and rural roads. Efforts to modernize our ports is also welcome and will enhance our trade efficiencies.

The initiative of the government on aviation sector is also progressive. For instance, the Government is drawing up an action plan for revival of unserved and underserved airports. There are about 160 airports and air strips with State Governments which can be revived at an indicative cost of Re 50 crore to Re 100 crore each.

The government recognizes the fact that India is blessed with rich natural resources including oil and gas. However, their discovery and exploitation has been much lower than what we can possibly do. Imports of hydrocarbons occupy a large share of India’s total imports. “As part of our drive towards self-sufficiency, the Government is considering to incentivise gas production from deep-water, ultra deep-water and high pressure-high temperature areas, which are presently not exploited on account of higher cost and higher risks,” Finance Minister said. He added, “A proposal is under consideration for new discoveries and areas which are yet to commence production, first, to provide calibrated marketing freedom; and second, to do so at a pre-determined ceiling price to be discovered on the principle of landed price of alternative fuels.”

Being in the heavy mineral industry, we sincerely hope there is a spill over of such progressive policies in our sector as well. Our industry is highly capital intensive and we contribute immensely to many sectors of the economy as many of the precious heavy minerals that we extract - Ilmenite, Sillimanite, Zircon, Rutile, Garnet - are used as raw materials. We also strongly recommend, Mine in India, to Make in India, to spur the small yet high-potential heavy mineral industry.

Going ahead, I wish to request the government to adjust the pending dues to industry against future payables which shall help ease our financial constraints - and this has been a key concern of the industry.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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mining Union Budget 2017-18

Pradeep Koneru

Pradeep Koneru is Managing Director, Trimex Group, India

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