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Mining ban results in one million jobs loss

Bengaluru, January 1: Ban on mining and exporting of iron ore has led to jobs loss for a million people in the two mineral–rich states of Goa and Kartaka, a joint study by an industry chamber and a private bank said on Thursday. “Export ban after the 2008 global meltdown resulted in drastic fall in mineral production, as export of iron ore from Goa and Kartaka plunged to 14 million tonnes last fiscal (2013–14) from 117 million tonnes in 2009–10,” said the study conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (Assocham) and Yes Bank.

The study titled, “Mining: Building a sustaible development framework for inclusive growth”, noted the Indian mining sector was saddled with logistic inefficiencies, economic, bureaucratic, environmental and a host of capacity issues due to lack of coordition between various agencies. “Illegal mining, regulatory issues, policy gridlocks, idequate supporting infrastructure and legal cases are stalling the sector’s growth and affecting a million people directly and indirectly,” said Assocham secretary general D.S. Rawat in the study. Noting that lack of central planning was leading to procurement delays, he called for efficient rail and road transportation for quicker movement of iron ore for consumption by steel producers. Calling for radical policy initiatives such as single–window clearance for greenfield and brownfield projects to eble greater participation by private sector, Rawat said boosting production, improving fincing across the value chain and promoting sustaible practices would ensure responsible mining in compliance with law. “Rapid urbanisation and growth in the manufacturing sector will fuel up to 9–11 per cent annual increase in demand for metals and minerals,” the study said. As the mining industry, comprising small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is involved in surveying, exploration and other mining activities, the stakeholders have to tap innovative funding sources, as the recent judicial and regulatory developments in the sector have dried up new funding from banks. “Limited geological and exploration expenditure, weak law enforcement, lack of coordited approach in decision–making, human resource and technological gaps and insufficient investments are challenges daunting the sector,” Rawat noted.  (IANS)

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