Piyush Goyal would rank the highest in the contribution to the GDP by the infrastructure sectors allotted to the ministers. So he has been entrusted with additional charge of ministry of mines in the latest reshuffle of the NDA cabinet.
Speaking on the occasion, Tomar named Goyal as a “capable minister” who has proven his worth by leading Power, Coal and RE sectors to extraordinary growth in last two years. Tomar gave his best wishes and said that “I am confident that Mines sector will touch new heights under the capable leadership of Mr. Goyal.”
While there was a strong buzz of Goyal being elevated to Cabinet rank but only Javadekar made the cut. Political observer feels that the decision to give Goyal the charge for Mines Ministry comes at a time when the mineral mining sector is languishing because of slow pace of auction which began last year and is yet to pick up pace.
The other reasons for delay are land and environment clearances, low demand for minerals in the market, complex auction procedure and state governments’ inexperience in mines auction.
Goyal propagated India’s first ever e-auction of coal blocks, after a Supreme Court decision in 2014 cancelled all coal allocation made over past two decades. It also brought transparency in the system. Mineral mines auction however would be different ballgame altogether.
While the coal auction is executed by central government, the non-coal mines auction comes under respective state government’s domain. Apart from transparent auction system, the government also has started exploring options to export instead of import from other countries.