Bhubaneswar: Resolute to promote the mining sector in a big way and deepen linkages with industry for a strong and sustained growth of the sector, the Odisha government on Wednesday made a strong pitch for investments in the downstream sector.
The state government has already initiated some key reforms to ensure “Ease of Mining” in the state, said Steel and Mines minister Prafulla Kumar Mallick while participating at a conference on Increasing Mining Sector: Contribution to GDP organized by CII in Bhubaneswar.
A robust mining sector and downstream industry will shape the economic growth of Odisha, a state which is being seen as one of the most lucrative investment destinations in India and South East Asia, Mallick said.
He urged CII to create much more such forums to help Odisha make the next big leap.
Odisha is the first state to auction a large iron ore mine – five more iron ore mines have been selected for auctioning, Mallick said.
Steel and Mines secretary R K Sharma said the state, which is home to 33 per cent of country’s iron ore reserves and 25 percent coal, is traditionally been a mining hub.
Mines need to be explored to the optimum level for which the there must be in place an easy and efficient clearance system, Sharma said, adding that skill development is also important, so is an effective and efficient logistics system.
Industries secretary Sanjeev Chopra said that the Odisha Mining Corporation has seen a steady growth over the years.
The government is working to set up the Odisha Mining Exploration Corporation, which will, in turn, give a boost to exploration in the state, Chopra said.
The state is also working hard to attract investments, he said, adding that road shows have been conducted in Mumbai and Bengaluru ahead of the Make in Odisha Conclave scheduled for 30 November-2 December 2016 in Bhubaneswar.
T V Narendran, Chairman, CII Eastern Region, said the growth of the mining has a positive impact on downstream industries such as power generation, steel making, aluminum, auto, chemicals, cement, and infrastructure.
He also underscored the need for strong logistics infrastructure, including key rail links and coastal shipping on eastern India’s seaboard to ensure appropriate evacuation and cost effective mineral transportation.
“Expanding capacity at major ports such as Paradip and Vizag will ease sea route transport of coal and iron ore from eastern ports in India to other coastal demand areas,” Narendran said.
Sanjay Pattanaik, Chairman, CII Odisha, said mining remains the biggest strength, not only for Odisha, and the East as a whole.
With India having seen a significant increase in demand for commodities on the back of steady economic growth and urbanization, the rapid development of the mining and metals sector will define how the Indian economy will grow, Pattanaik said.
Manikanta Naik, member, CII Odisha, said with the enabling policies in place, the mining sector is all set to achieve excellent growth in the coming years.
The conference also discussed on viable business models, reporting standards, sustainable mining practices, regulatory reforms and operational sustainability in the mining sector besides others.