Prof. Rajesh Chadha (Program Director, Natural Resources), Biplob Chatterjee (Consultant), and Ganesh Sivamani (Research Assistant), Brookings India, delivered a web workshop on non-fuel minerals and mining in India to the Office of the Principal Accountant General, Bihar on Thursday, June 25, 2020. Those in attendance included Dr. Nilotpal Goswami (Principal Accountant General), Adarsh Agarwal (Deputy Accountant General), and six other officers.
The workshop was split into three sessions. The first session provided an outline of the Brookings India’s ongoing work on Non-Fuel Minerals and Mining in India (NFM&MIN). The issues of optimising mineral development in Bihar were discussed in the following session. It provided a geologist’s perspective on Bihar’s mineral potential, as well as a discussion on the need to increase mineral exploration in the state. The final session of the workshop provided details of the auctions of the mining leases, post-2015, for allocating mineral blocks. It highlighted many of the auction bids were higher than the value of the respective mineable resources; this is clearly an unsustainable mining proposition unless supported through factors extraneous to the mining operations.
Following the presentations, discussions were held on various mining subjects, including illegal sand mining and DMF funds. The Principal Accountant General expressed thanks to the Brookings India team for their presentations and mentioned his desire for further interaction in the future as well.
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