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Despite pandemic, mining sector maintained pace: Steel and Mines Minister

18/08/2021 at 6:55 PM

Bhubaneswar, Aug 18: State Minister for Steel and Mines Prafulla Kumar Mallik today held discussions with different stakeholders of the mining and metal sector in a virtual programme organized by the Department of steel and mines, Government of Odisha and the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

The ‘national metal and mining e-summit 2021’ saw deliberations from different experts and players from the sector. The minister in his interaction with the stakeholders claimed that despite the pandemic in place, the initiatives taken by the state government ensured maintaining the pace of work in the sector despite challenges galore.

“Odisha is known in the country for its rich mineral resources. The sector however witnessed a minor effect during the initial phases of COVID 19 but the government initiatives helped to keep the sector on track. We were able to conduct the auctions of mines during the period. Meanwhile, at the central level, the MMDR Act saw some amendments which also made the works in the sector more conductive and user friendly,” the minister said.

Debidutta Biswal, State Mines Director claimed that the digitization of several mining-related works in mining, permits and others helped the State in better managing the affairs despite the pandemic.

“Odisha was one of the few states in India which had the online mineral monitoring system. We also issued e-passes during the pandemic to ensure hassle-free movement and business of the sector. Granting of many online licenses to the sector also reduced human interface. Out of the 24 auctioned mines, production also started at 19 of these,” Biswal said.

The theme of the webinar was „Building resilience in the mining and metal industry and the way forward‟. The event witnessed the coming together of several stakeholders of the industry to talk in detail on the issues faced by the industry post COVID, the existing hurdles, government policies and the way forward.

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