The Modi government is determined to get rid of the menace of illegal mining of mineral resources in India, a major governance issue that it inherited from the previous Congress led UPA regime.
After introducing stringent penalties in the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill 2015, vetted by the Parliament on March 20, 2016, the government has finally put in place a fool proof satellite based monitoring system called the Mining Surveillance System (MSS) that will help the nation get rid of illegal mining. Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal launched MSS in New Delhi on October 15.
In the last four months alone, in a clear expression of our strong and deep engagement in the Hydrocarbon sector, Indian companies have invested close to US Dollars 5.5 billion in Russia’s Oil and Gas sector, said PM Modi.
In a day of deals at the ongoing 8th BRICS summit at Goa as also the India-Russia Summit, as many as three significant agreements were inked between India and Russia for co-operation in the field of hydrocarbons sector.
In line with the Modi government’s initiative — ‘Start-up India, the country’s leading public sector oil companies including the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Indian Oil and Oil India Ltd (OIL) have announced start-up funds, the combined corpus of which has already reached Rs 180 crore.
Players and coaches, who participated in the Rio Olympics, and are employees of Public Sector Oil and Gas Companies, were felicitated in a ceremony at New Delhi on October 6th.
The Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan gave awards to all the 28 Rio Participants from the Petroleum family. Some other eminent sports persons, who have gained repute earlier, and belong to the PSUs were also honoured.
Secretary, Mines, Balvinder Kumar said that another 61 blocks have been identified and will be put on auction within this fiscal, thereby taking the total number of blocks being auctioned during 2016-17 to 98 blocks.
After the successful auctioning of 16 mines, the government will re-auction the 37 mineral blocks by the end of December this year as these blocks did not elicit a satisfactory response in the recently held auction process. These 37 mineral blocks are in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Odisha.
After meeting their power requirement for agricultural use, the farmers will be able to sell or feed the remaining power out of these solar units into the grid. States have agreed in-principle to this idea mooted by Goyal at the two-day state power minister’s conference at Vadodara in Gujarat.
In line with his government’s focus for the agricultural sector and providing continuous innovative solutions to the Indian farmers, Union power minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday announced a new initiative under which the government would aid the setting up of small solar power units by farmers to exclusively power their agricultural pump sets.
Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) have been asked to work out a mechanism in which the small hydro power projects (presently lying stressed and stalled in the country) can be resolved and identify those which are viable for being re-started.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal said that “by and large a consensus has been made with the states that hydro power should be declared as renewable power and a seperate renewable purchase obligation (RPO) for hydro should be set up. A new proposal will be worked out for the Cabinet with required amendments to India’s long term renewable energy goals.
Uttar Pradesh has benefited from the Centre's UDAY scheme with its AT&C losses down over 1% from 34.22% to 33.03% (as per provisional figures of MoP as on Sep 5, 2016). Rajasthan's AT&C losses are down 27.32% as against 28.9% while that of Haryana and Bihar by another 0.5-0.8%.
Bonds Worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore have been issued by states Under UDAY Scheme and the AT&C Losses are also Down by 1-2%. Rajasthan takes the lead in issuing bonds under the Centre’s UDAY Scheme at Rs 71k crore followed by Uttar Pradesh at 44,510 crore and Haryana at Rs 25,951 crore
The soft loans for APL and BPL connections will be over and above the ongoing loans that have been extended by the Centre under various ongoing RE schemes. This new additional loan by REC can be paid back by the states over 10-15 years and will be given at low interest rates, Union minister of state for power. From Consumers also, the same loan can be recovered over a long spread of time.
Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) is in the process of drawing up a scheme for extending long term basis soft loans to the States at a flat rate to achieve 100% household electrification across the States for both APL (Above the Poverty Line) & BPL (Below the Poverty Line) population.
The Minister gave the motto, ‘Together We Can’ and asked States to look beyond individual State and departmental issues and keep a National perspective in solving the challenges faced by the common man. “Improvement is best change that is possible”, the Minister said.
With a wide gamut of issues concerning the power, renewable energy, coal and mines sector on the agenda of the state power minister’s meet, there is a strong possibility that the bi-annual state power minister’s conference is now held thrice a year.