Several mining leases will lapse in 2020: Minister

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Union Minister of Steel Chaudhary Birender Singh. File Photo.

PANAJI, Jan 28: Leases of a very large number of mines will lapse in 2020 and the Union Ministry for Steel is figuring out ways to work around the phenomenon, which could potentially lead to a drop in steel production in India, Union Minister of Steel Chaudhary Birender Singh said on Monday.

Singh, who was in Goa to participate in a meeting of a Parliamentary Consultative Committee of Steel Ministry, said that the Modi government had taken several initiatives to bring out the steel industry out of the red.

“We have captive mines as far as our public sector undertakings (PSUs) are concerned… In 2020, leases of a very large number of mines would expire. That’s not only iron ore or coal mines, but other mines also,” Singh said, adding that it was a serious issue.

He said that his Ministry had appointed an additional secretary to address the phenomenon and work out measures to ensure that the supply of iron ore to steel plants did not face impediments.

“This phenomenon of 2020 would be tackled. Specially, we have a wealth of the mines, which are under Odisha Minerals Development Company.”

Singh also said that the Modi government had saved Rs 8,000 crore by promoting use of locally manufacture steel in government contracts.

(IANS)