Auction Natural Resources just like Spectrum: Anil Agarwal

Anil Agarwal, Chairman, Vedanta Group has urged the Government to replicate the success of spectrum auction in the mining industry.

The article was published in the Hindu Business Line 17 February 2014

“Spectrum auction success should lead to auction of natural resources, which has capacity to generate larger funds, employment and fight poverty,” he said in a tweet.

In Goa, it is a matter of survival for over one-third of the State’s population. The mining ban has paralyzed almost 20,000 trucks. But the biggest loss is to the economy, with figures touching Rs. 25,000 crore. The loss of over $6 billion on account of the ban on iron ore export from Goa alone has been one of the major factors responsible for compounding the current rupee crisis.

Vedanta Group company Sesa Goa is one of the largest exporters of iron ore from Goa.

“We can keep these reserves (in Goa) for another 100 years, but ultimately, their utilisation is necessary to benefit the very citizens whose interests we are purportedly protecting with the ban,” he said. So, auction these natural resources in the most transparent manner with simple policies and allow them to be used in the most sustainable manner, so that it helps in strengthening and rejuvenating the economy, said Agarwal.

Manufacturing key
No country in the world can develop without manufacturing. The contribution of manufacturing in GDP and GNP (gross national product) cannot be ruled out. At one point, countries such as Brazil, Canada, Australia and those in Latin America were on par with India when it came to utilisation of natural resources. 

“Today, these countries have moved far ahead and we have remained stagnant. The fall of GDP growth can be attributed largely to the sluggish growth of manufacturing in India. Further, in states where manufacturing drives growth, the economy is in shambles, thanks to the artificial shortage of resources,” he said. “Having our own reserves and resources, and then spending billions on their import makes no sense. As much as 3,000 million tonnes of bauxite remains unutilized in India,” he said.

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