Mining in India is an important economic activity which contributes significantly to the country’s economy. Over the years the mining sector underwent modernization of its operations. The country exports a variety of minerals found in abundance in its geographically diverse regions- while it imports others not found in significant quantities in the country to meet requirement of its industry.
The Mines and Mineral (Development & Regulation) Act (MMDR), 1957 which is the fundamental law governing the mining sector, had been amended in 1994 with a view to accelerate the inflow of private capital, both domestic and foreign as also state-of-the-art technology.
Followed in 1999, the foreign investment policy was further liberalized to promote Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the mining sector.
However, one of the major hurdles in investment in the mining sector is the delay in approval due to procedural matters, discretionary interpretation and need of numerous approvals and agencies at Central and State Governments level. At times this process takes 3-7 years for approvals and clearance which is much higher than other countries. In addition infrastructural constraints, inadequate availability of rail wagons and inadequate power evacuation infrastructure also create impediments to investment.
After several amendments of the existing law, the new Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation (MMDR) Act that is being drafted aims to develop mineral sector in a holistic manner. Its objective is to achieve optimal utilization of India’s mineral resources for its industrial growth and socio-economic development, through scientific exploration, sustainable mining practices and geo scientific research and development.
In view of the implication of the above and related issues on the national economy, ASSOCHAM is organizing the National Conference on “Mining – Technology Infusion by Sustainability Issues”. It is a part of an ongoing effort by ASSOCHAM to catalyze the development of mines and metallurgy sector in the country.