Union Minister of Mines, Coal and Parliamentary Affairs, Prahad Joshisaid today that the government is keenly examining the environmental impacts of coal and oil exploration, while ensuring that its abundant mineral resources are properly exploited for the benefit of the region.
Joshi said this while speaking to the media at the first Northeast Geology and Mining Ministers’ Conclave held in Nagaland today.
Many have expressed concern about the negative environmental impact of coal and oil exploration in the Northeast.
Speaking at the conference, Mr. Joshi expressed his concerns about the auction process in the Northeast region and urged state governments to resolve issues related to auctions in various states in the Northeast.
He added that the establishment of resources and successful auctions will bring economic prosperity through increased revenue, job creation, and industry influx, further contributing to NER’s overall growth and development.
“A successful block auction could also act as a catalyst to bring other sources of funding to the region,” he said.
Joshi said the Northeast region has been given top priority for development under the prime minister’s agenda to transform India. The northeastern region is the focus of India’s “Act East Policy,” he said.
“The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has covered 108 projects on various mineral commodities in the NER in the last five years and 23 mineral exploration projects on various commodities in the NER in 2022-2023. ” said Joshi.
The minister said the government is also funding the project through the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET). Two of his mineral exploration projects funded by NMET, limestone and iron ore in Nagaland, have already been completed. NMET also provides financial support for the procurement of machinery/laboratory equipment/equipment etc. to designate DGM for up to 10% of all approved exploration projects per year. Various state joint working groups have been formed by mining ministries to resolve several issues related to the auction process.
Joshi further said the ministry, through GSI and the Mines Authority of India (IBM), could organize training programs for capacity building of state geologists and other officials. Such programs are organized by His GSI in Shillong Center or His GSITI in Hyderabad, depending on the convenience of the state.
Sanjay Rohya, deputy secretary of the mining ministry, said the ministry is speeding up the pace of mineral exploration in the country and stepping up auctions of mineral blocks.
“GSI is focused on completing the National Baseline Geoscience Data Generation Program in the country, increasing our focus on exploration for important minerals in the NE region. A $1 billion fine has been paid to the state of Assam,” he said.
He added that the Ministry of Mining and its agencies GSI, IBM and MECL will provide full support to the state government.
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