Mining a must to pare imports, eradicate poverty: Vedanta's Anil Agrawal

Anil Agarwal, Chairman, Vedanta Resources
Vedanta Resources Chairman Anil Agrawal exhorted that mining of rich mineral resources was inevitable in order to eradicate poverty in the country, adding that most other nations had even begun to work on this theory.

“If you want to reduce poverty in the country, you have to go inside the motherland,” he said, adding that the Union Government has been taking positive steps in this direction.

By pulling out the rich mineral resources the country had been endowed with, India could overcome with the issue of importing raw materials, Agrawal said. “How long we will continue with importing,” he asked, adding that the country had been importing the entire stock of gold and creating jobs in other countries. "Why can't the jobs be created in the country," he added.

Agrawal cited the case of copper to prove hsi point, explaining that the mineral is available abundantly in India, but is still being imported. 

The Vedanta Chairman said the Union Government was likely to amend the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act (MMDRA) to auction the mines before exploration. “This was a major lacuna in the Act and the amendment would boost the mining sector,” he said.

Under the present format of the MMDRA, mines are auctioned by state governments only after exploration. Agrawal said the state governments were not capable of conducting the exploration, and it was taking years to do the job. Auctioning the mines on the basis of geological data would yield better results, Agrawal claimed. 

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