MAC: Mines and Communities

Government embarks upon a transparent mining policy

Published by MAC on 2005-10-31

Government embarks upon a transparent mining policy


October 31, 2005

BHUBANESWAR: The Government has decided that mines would not be leased out to companies, which do not set up plants in the State.

The new mining policy, which has been finalised, has put restrictions on the use of mineral resources from mines in the State in outside plants. The new policy will be placed in the coming session of the Assembly.

Minister for Steel and Mines Padmanabha Behera said that the mining policy would have to be accepted by the Cabinet before going to the Assembly. He admitted that efforts are being made to place the policy in the Assembly.

Sources said that adequate provisions would be made in the new policy to restrict export of ore by companies, which have already been leased out mines by the Government.

The State Government had come in for criticism from Opposition political parties for not announcing its mining policy.

The clause in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the Korean major Posco by the State Government allowing swapping of iron ore had sparked off a controversy with even the BJP, the alliance partner of BJD, taking exception to it.

A mining policy has become all the more necessary as the Government has signed MoUs with 36 companies including Posco for establishment of steel plants in the State.

According to sources, all these factors will be addressed in the new policy by the Government.

Guidelines have been formed for renewal of mines. This is for the first time the State Government has formulated a policy basing on the mining policy of the Centre.

A high level official committee headed by Chief Secretary Subas Pani has already approved the policy on October 22. The Minister said that the policy will be accepted by the Cabinet soon and placed in the Assembly starting from November 21.

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