Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Pralhad Joshi has urged the officials of the Ministry of Mines to bring about further momentum in restructuring the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) as an autonomous body. He was addressing the third Governing Body meeting of the Trust here today. The Minister pointed out that in a resource rich country like India all efforts should be made to give further fillip to mineral exploration so that imports can be curtailed. Shri Joshi said that stringent conditions, if any, in the field of mineral exploration needs to be removed in order to attract more firms to this sector.Chairing the Governing Body meeting the Minister stressed upon the need to focus on exploration of gold and rare earths along with other segments of India’s mineral exploration efforts. Shri Pralhad Joshi underscored the need to streamline the system of extending financial assistance to states, especially the mineral rich states for enhanced exploration. Creation of an atmosphere of competition among states to step up exploration is also needed, the Minister pointed out. The interaction with states to encourage mining exploration needs to be more frequent and result oriented, Minister Joshi added.The GB meeting was held for a periodical review and policy directions of NMET. The Minister Shri Joshi informed the meeting that mineral exploration is an integrated process and requires huge fund and NMET fund contribution was meant for exploration activities in the country. He also advised state government agencies to come out with detailed and concrete plans for regional exploration of minerals.The meeting was attended by Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Housing and Urban Affairs Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State for Coal, Mines and Railways Shri Raosaheb Patil Danve, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space Dr Jitendra Singh. Minister of Mineral Resources Department of Govt. of Madhya Pradesh Shri Brajendra Pratap Singh and Minister of Mines and Mineral of Govt, of Assam Shri Jogen Mohan also participated in the crucial meeting.
During the meeting, held for periodical reviews and policy directions of NMET, Secretary, Shri Alok Tandon and Joint Secretary Shri Upendra C Joshi of the Ministry of Mines informed the members of the Governing Body about the reforms being initiated, the number of projects and the amount sanctioned for mineral exploration in the country recently.The Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 as amended in 2015, has introduced transparent & competitive auction process for grant of mineral concessions. It also provided for establishment of National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) to give impetus to the mineral exploration activities. The holders of Mining Lease and Prospecting Licence-cum-Mining Lease make payments equivalent to 2% of royalty, for minerals under second schedule of the Act, as NMET contribution simultaneously with payments of the royalty.National mineral exploration Trust (NMET) is a body working to realize the mineral potential of the country in terms of mining activity and contribute commensurately to the growth of national economy. For this purpose, a number of steps have been initiated to ensure that the national economy receives the rightful contribution from its geological wealth. The mining industry in the country is undergoing reforms introduced through investor friendly and transformative interventions of the Government.The NMET fund is being utilized to undertaking studies for mineral development; regional and detailed exploration with special emphasis to strategic and critical minerals; aerial geophysical survey of obvious geological potential (OGP) and adjoining areas of India; sustainable mining with adoption of advanced scientific and technological practices and mineral extraction metallurgy. It also facilitates exploration activities in such a manner that areas explored can be taken up for grant of mineral concessions in accordance with the provisions of the Act.