GSI to do G1 & G2 level exploration; Government to rope in additional agencies to carry out prospecting work
Speaking on the sidelines of the 54th meeting of Central Geological Programming Board (CGPB) at Vigyan Bhawan today, Union Minister of Steel and Mines Shri Narendra Singh Tomar announced that the Ministry of Mines has taken a decision to notify 31 additional minerals, presently under the list of major minerals, as minor minerals. The notification will be issued soon. “This is being done with the intention to devolve more power to the States, and consequently, expedite the process of mineral development in the country,” Shri Tomar said. The Minister also announced that in order to strengthen the mineral inventory database of India, the government is planning to notify PSUs to carry out prospecting work. He further added that the Geological Survey of India (GSI), which was hitherto involved in G3 and G4 level of prospecting, has plans to scale up prospecting operations to G1 and G2 levels.
As opposed to major minerals, the regulatory and administrative jurisdiction of minor minerals falls under the purview of State governments. These include the powers to frame rules, prescribe rates of royalty, contribution to District Mineral Foundation, the procedure for grant of mineral concessions etc. These 31 minerals account for over 55% of the total number of leases and nearly 60% of total leased area. Considering the extensive local outreach of States, this decision empowers States to customise regulatory framework to suit local conditions. This move is considered an important step in the fulfilment of ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’ motto of the current government.
While addressing the 54th Central Geological Programming Board Meeting (CGPB), Shri Tomar urged geologists and state representatives to decide time-frames for completion of each activity. Underscoring the employment potential of mining sector, Shri Tomar said, “After agriculture, mining is the second largest employer in the country. Since India is the largest youth nation across the globe, endowed with immense mineral potential, we must use our strengths to take India ahead on the competitiveness graph.” The CGPB is a platform of the GSI in which its annual programme is finalised. It includes representatives from central and state governments, exploration agencies and PSUs, among others. The Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Dr. Anup K Pujari, also present on the occasion, commended GSI for utilising 99% of the budget allocated to them for the last two years.
List of 31 minerals to be notified as minor minerals
(ii) Ball Clay;
(iv) Calcareous Sand;
(vii) China Clay;
(viii) Clay (Others);
(xvi) Fuschite Quartzite;
(xxvii) Sand (Others);
(xxix) Silica Sand;
The Central Geological Programming Board (CGPB) is an important platform of the Geological Survey of India (GSI), Ministry of Mines wherein the Annual Program of GSI is finalized. The members of CGPB and other stake holders like State Governments, Central/State Government Exploration Agencies, PSUs etc. present their proposals for collaborative work with GSI. Based on the priorities set by government and the importance and urgency of proposals presented by the members and stakeholders, the Annual Program of GSI for survey, exploration and training during the next financial year is finalized.
The 54th Central Geological Programming Board (CGPB) meeting is finalizing the Field Season Program of GSI for 2015-16. Last year, 688 Field Season items were approved for GSI out of which 679 were carried out exclusively by GSI and 9, in collaboration with State or national agencies.