Joshi was speaking at the ‘Mincon 2022’ Mines -Mineral-Metals event here.
The minister expressed his concern that that the country has to import coal despite having adequate domestic resource of the fuel.
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi told him that this substitute coal import has to stop.
“We are working in that direction and I am assuring you that by 2024-25, the substitute coal that is thermal coal import, we are going to stop it,” he said.
Joshi said that the government is taking pro-industry initiatives.
“There was a time, when those in power used to think that talking about industry, business and industrialists is kind of anti-poor. But, our government does not think like that, we think your businesses should run nicely and our policies should be good and the revenue from you will help in serving the poor. This is the firm belief of the government and we think you are working for the country,” he added.
Joshi said that the government has brought major reforms in the mining sector in 2021 and there has been a sea change in less than one-and-a-half years.
The prime minister had said that after agriculture and small industries, mining is the sector which can provide jobs and develop the economy.
Joshi further said that the prime minister has said that India should become developed country by 2047. “…today the contribution to GDP from mining sector is around just 0.9 per cent… by 2030 we should try to take it to 2.5 per cent. We will be working and talking with the states on how should be the auction, allocation and what should be the policy, rules and laws for this purpose,” he said.
Joshi also took a dig at the previous Maharashtra government in 2021, saying that the central government tried to contact the then state government and ministers many a times. The officers came to him but no politician came to meet. Whereas, chief minister of Odisha and ministers of Gujarat and Karnataka gave suggestions and his ministry accepted almost 90 per cent of their suggestions and also implemented them, resulting in to increase in the revenues of these states.
Joshi assured the Maharshtra government of all possible assistance and asked them (forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and minister of mines and ports Dada Bhuse) to come for discussions.
Speaking at the event Union minister Nitin Gadkari praised Joshi for the reforms brought in the coal mining sector. Gadkari also pitched for reducing the import of coal.
The road transport and highway minister said that the progress and employment potential of Vidarbha is connected with forests and minerals.
Gadkari also said that Maharashtra’s development cannot happen without the development of Vidarbha.
Forest based and coal and mineral based industries are very important for the development of Vidarbha, he said, adding that 75 per cent of minerals in Maharashtra are in Vidarbha and 80 per cent of Maharashtra’s forest area falls in Vidarbha.
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