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New Mining Policy To Raise Sector's GDP Contribution: Minister

Chhattisgarh chief minister says the new National Mineral Exploration Policy has opened more opportunities for rapid development of his state

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Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the new National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP) would explore the new mining areas across the country and raise contribution of the sector in the country's GDP.

"There are a lot of employment opportunities at the minerals' rich districts of the country. The minerals play a major role in rapid economic growth and GDP. The new (mines exploration) policy will help in mapping of the mining areas across the country," the Steel and Mines Minister said.

He was speaking at the inaugural function of the two-day national conclave on 'Mines and Minerals' in Raipur where he unveiled the policy along with Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who was the chief guest at the function arrived late as his flight got delayed due to bad weather.

About 300 delegates from all over the country are participating in the conference.

"The exploration has been done by GSI (Geological Survey of India) only in 10 per cent of the mapped mining potential area so far which is about eight lakh square km. The new policy would explore minerals in 8,00,000 square km area. The mining sector's contribution to GDP is also likely to reach to six per cent," the union minister said.

He said the new policy would ensure use of space technology to check illegal mining.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi had formulated 'Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana' (PMKKKY) keeping in mind the welfare of residents in the mining areas. Immense employment opportunities will be generated by the development of the minerals' rich regions," Tomar added.

The Atomic Mineral Policy was also unveiled on the occasion, besides the launch of the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) as part of PMKKKY.

DMF would raise funds from mining activities in the respective districts and utilise them for the local development.

Jaitley inaugurated a pilot project to execute development works in five villages in the mineral-rich Dantewada district under the PMKKKY.

The scheme would be executed through DMF.

Under the pilot project taken up in Chhattisgarh, about Rs 26 crore would be spent for turning five villages into model villages.

The chief minister said the new NMEP has opened new vistas and opportunities for rapid development.

"The detailed mapping of the mines across the state will be done in next three years and modern technology will be used for the purpose," he said.

The CM said state will receive a fund of Rs 1,100 crore under DMF for carrying out development works in the districts where mining-related operations are underway.

"The DMF will cater to the needs of the local residents of mining regions regarding education, health, drinking water and roads," he added.

Singh also announced that his government will bear the entire fees of the children of rehabilitated families in the mining areas for their admission to medical, engineering and agriculture colleges as well as for IITs and other institutions of higher learning.

(PTI)


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