Draft mining policy to help in faster clearances

December 6th, 2011 - 11:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Dec 6 (IANS) India’s new draft mining policy is ready to ensure that the local communities are also benefited from the activity, a top official said Tuesday.

G. Srinivas, joint secretary in the union mines ministry, said the new policy would also help in getting faster clearances for mining.

Addressing the sixth International Conference on Aluminium (INCAL), which began here Tuesday, he underlined the need for making available bauxite and coal blocks for aluminium projects to boost the production.

Srinivas called upon states to take advantage of the draft policy and speed up the clearances for the mining.

Voicing his concern over several projects that have remained stuck for environmental clearances, he said this may hamper achieving the expected aluminium production level of 4.7 million tonnes per year in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17).

The current production of aluminium in the country is 3.6 million tonnes per annum.

Srinivas noted that no new greenfield project has come up in the 11th Plan.

“All the existing players are not able to start new plants. They are stuck up with environmental clearances or licenses,” he said.

Srinivas also pointed out that the per capita consumption of aluminium in India is very low at 1.3 to 1.5 kg while it is 38 kg in Germany, 30 kg in Japan and 12 kg in China.

Mines Secretary Vishwapati Trivedi said the draft aluminium mission plan prepared by the Aluminium Association of India would help the government to evolve a national policy for guidance of all stakeholders.

He said this would also address the key objective of the ministry to enhance per capita aluminium consumption.

D. Bhatacharya, honorary president of Aluminium Association of India and managing director of Hindalco Industries, said with abundant coal and good quality bauxite, India was at the centre of the unfolding aluminium story.

He said as the aluminium consumption in India was poised to double in the next five years, all the stakeholders should gear up to seize the opportunity.

He pointed out that electrical sector alone accounts for 41 percent of the aluminium consumption and said there was tremendous potential for growth in this sector.

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