Mining bill revamp offers more funds for tribal development
Days after the fatal naxal attack on top Chhattisgarh Congress functionaries, the UPA government has put key social inclusion legislation aimed at ploughing back the revenue from mining for development of the tribal areas on fast-track mode.delhi Updated: Jun 08, 2013 00:33 IST
Days after the fatal naxal attack on top Chhattisgarh Congress functionaries, the UPA government has put key social inclusion legislation aimed at ploughing back the revenue from mining for development of the tribal areas on fast-track mode.
The revamped Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Bill being readied for the Cabinet consideration provides for spending half of the royalty state governments get from mining for development of areas where mining takes place.
Senior government sources said the royalty for the state governments from mining would be doubled with a condition that half of it will have to be used for the development of mining areas through the district mineral foundation.
"The provision would ensure more money to state governments for the development of backward tribal areas," said a senior plan panel functionary, adding that the strategy was to win over tribals.
Most of the mineral-rich areas are in tribal zones considered to be the most backward and hit by the left wing extremists.
The UPA government had decided for more inclusive mineral policy through the bill introduced in Parliament last year. A parliamentary panel submitted its recommendations in first week of May and the mines ministry constituted a group to consider the recommendations.
"We expect the bill to be ready for Cabinet consideration by June end," an official said.
The proposed law also provides for mandatory sharing of 26% of the profit from mining activity with locals, except in coal mining. The development activity would be carried out by the foundation that will be set up once the bill becomes a law.
Officials said the mines ministry has been asked to fast track the process for seeking Cabinet approval so that the bill can be introduced in the budget session of Parliament.