Kolkata, (Coal Geology/IBNS) Despite having rich metal and mineral resource, India lags behind other countries like China, Australia, South Africa and Brazil which have developed on the basis of minerals, said a top official here on Saturday.
Addressing the Conference on Mining, Metals and Environment coinciding with the Biz Bridge 2011, H M Nerurkar, Co-Chairman, CII Manufacturing Council & Chairman, Mining & Metals Subcommittee, CII Eastern Region and Managing Director, Tata Steel, very specifically pointed out the challenges and deterrents in the path of mining and metals industry of the country.
Despite having rich metal and mineral resource, India lags behind other countries like China, Australia, South Africa and Brazil which have developed on the basis of minerals, he said.
Nerurkar said that the GDP contribution by the mining industry has gone down noticeably. He specified lack of comprehensive regulatory policies, poor infrastructure, insufficient skilled manpower and unavailability of concrete data as the key hindrances in the path of growth of this sector.
“Good policies need to be charted out and applied reasonably for this sector to benefit, robust infrastructure needs to be developed and young, energetic, knowledgeable people must be attracted to work in this sector,” he said.
Government authorities and the related agencies like GSI etc. need to work toward exploration of the resources to the fullest, he said.
He suggested that the industry should aim at 10% GDP contribution in the coming years.
Shakeel Ahmed, Chairman & Managing Director, Hindustan Copper Ltd expressed his concern over the slow pace of growth of the mining and minerals sector attributing to only about 2.25% of GDP growth.
Talking of the weaknesses in this field he firstly referred to India as an underexplored country with ample resources yet to be explored. Strong regulatory regime is to be set up as the existing ones are not that helpful.
Another important challenge that he pointed out was the unruly time and indecision regarding the mining lease. Ahmed urged CII to act in concern to expedite the process.
Moreover, he said the ruling state government must sincerely put an effort to utilize the royalty received from the mines solely for the development of the region.
According to Ahmed, environment must not act as an obstacle in the path of establishing new mines. An effective way to balance the two fields is to plant more trees than the ones felled.
“Employment and growth must be the key concern alongside sustainability of environment. Talent deficit also need to be fulfilled by enhancing the quality of lifestyle in and around the mines. The industry should aim at increasing the GDP contribution to about 10%.”
Biswadip Gupta, Joint Managing Director & CEO, JSW Bengal Steel Ltd. held technology and cost competitiveness as the areas that need immediate intervention. Technological advancement is the need of the hour.
“Technology should be utilized appropriately in order to refine the coarse resources. Lot of work has already being started. Tie ups with technologically advanced countries can be highly beneficial.”
Talking of the cost competitiveness, he said that although the industry does not have any control on the input costs, bringing technology into effective action can make the industry globally competitive.
He stressed that only after exploring the domestic markets, manufacturers must step into the international market.
Naushad A Ansari, Executive Director & Member of the Board, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. through an extensive presentation depicted the essential challenges lying in front of the mining and metals industry specially steel. Availability of raw materials is an area of great concern for the industry.
“Mostly the mines due to their presence in the jungle areas cause a lot problem in extracting the raw materials. Land identification process has to be started,” he said.
“The infertile land must be identified and procured for the putting up of factories. Talent management is another aspect that needs immediate attention.”
Srikumar Menon, Managing Director, BOC India Pvt. Ltd. shared his insights on the role of gas industry for the development of metals and mining industry, while S K Bhaumik, Senior Vice President-Flat Products, Danielli India Ltd. talked of quality enhancement and increasing production capacity through technology.