“National Interests must prevail over Industry Interests”, says Piyush Goyal
New Delhi: “It is imperative to build a cohesive stakeholder network that strives to bring about an environment of Responsible Mining in the country”, said Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, while addressing a distinguished gathering at the 50th Annual General Meeting of the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) here today.
Speaking at the event, the Minister inspired the Mining fraternity to make collective efforts to bring reform in the functioning of the sector by infusing transparency and honesty and help all the stakeholders to reap the benefits of India’s mineral wealth equitably. He emphasized on the importance of putting up a collective fight against corruption if the mining sector aims a 9% contribution to the GDP in the near future, a target set by the FIMI itself.
Shri Goyal stressed upon the impending need to bring about a culture of fair competition in the mining sector, which in turn would facilitate equal opportunity to all the participants. It would ensure equitable allocation of scarce domestic mineral resources, their scientific exploration and optimal utilization in the country. The Minister envisioned that by following such an approach India would become self-reliant in utilizing the abundant mineral wealth, avoid imports and save precious foreign exchange reserves.
Emphasizing upon the need of a transparent & honest working ethos to the gathering, Shri Goyal said that “I do not mince my words when I say that free lunches are over. This Government works with a special concern for environment, social issues, individual and collective labour problems like health & general wellbeing, among others. The industry has to function with the aim of larger good of the society instead of pursuing a profit making approach.”
Speaking further on bringing reforms in the Mining sector, the Minister said that the Nation’s efforts should focus on leveraging high value added minerals available in the country. There is a need to develop a matrix which concentrates on such minerals and dovetails into itself the import substitution element. Such a step would lead to greater financial returns to the sector and ultimately to the society, he added.
Other dignitaries present at the event were Shri Balvinder Kumar, Secretary, Mines, Shri H. Noor Ahmed, President, FIMI and other members of the Mining Industry. During the event, Secretary, Mines also presented the future challenges facing the sector and course of action of the Ministry in addressing them.