Rajasthan creates new record in auctioning major mineral blocks

Jaipur, March 14 (IANS) Rajasthan has set a new record in the auction of major mineral blocks under the current BJP government, confirmed officials.

The Mines and Geology Department of Rajasthan has successfully auctioned 31 major minerals blocks through the Government of India’s e-portal till March 13, said state Mines Secretary Anandi on Wednesday, adding that 15 blocks of limestone have been successfully auctioned in just 22 days.

According to the progress report released from the Mines Ministry, 22-22 major mineral blocks were auctioned each in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan till March 1 in this financial year.

Soon after, with the successful auction of nine more blocks in Rajasthan, a total of 31 major mineral blocks were auctioned in Rajasthan till March 13, which is the highest in the country.

In the last financial year, a maximum of 29 blocks were auctioned in Madhya Pradesh and 20 in Chhattisgarh, whereas in Rajasthan only eight blocks of major minerals were auctioned last year, which was the highest after the new provisions were introduced.

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Last year, 105 major mineral blocks were auctioned across the country. Maximum 25 mineral blocks were auctioned in Odisha in 2019-2. Mines Secretary Anandi said that the Central government is also emphasizing on auctioning blocks of major minerals and the states are being asked to prepare and auction as many mineral blocks as possible and it is being monitored.

She said that the preparation and auction of mineral blocks is reviewed monthly in 13 states of the country, including Rajasthan.

As soon as the new government was formed, Chief Minister Bhajanlal Sharma, who is also the Mines Minister, gave instructions to run a campaign to curb illegal mining, and laid emphasis on preparing as many blocks as possible for auction so that legal mining can be promoted. In this sequence, Rajasthan has also started the process of auction of gold, rare earth elements and potash by issuing tender on the portal of Government of India.

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Director Mines Bhagwati Prasad Kalal said that 31 major mineral blocks have been auctioned in the state this financial year, out of which 22 blocks of limestone have been auctioned for mining lease, while composite licenses of four blocks of iron ore and two of base metal have been auctioned. The block and three blocks of base metal and associated minerals have been auctioned for composite license.

Kalal said that it was the result of planned efforts to stop illegal mining and mineral exploration in the state that more blocks are being prepared and auctioned through the e-portal of the Government of India under a transparent system.

–IANS

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