The Central Government has asked the states to begin auction of 348 non-captive mining leases that are expiring in 2020. This shall provide enough time to the successful bidders to seek necessary clearances before commencing operations. The mines ministry stated that the aim is to give successful bidders time to obtain various clearances before commencing mining operations. It is therefore of utmost importance that an action plan for auctioning these mining leases is prepared at the earliest, according to the ministry.
Earlier, the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) had expressed concerns over the expiry of the existing mining leases in March 2020, which may affect availability of raw materials for the Indian mining industry if leases are not renewed in time