Naveen urges mineral-rich states to discuss Mineral policy with PM

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 24 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today urged the Governors and Chief Ministers of all mineral-rich states to ask the Prime Minister to share the draft mineral policy with them before its approval by the Union cabinet.

In separate letters to Governors and Chief Ministers of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Rajasthan, Mr Patnaik expressed concern over the states not being taken into confidence by the Union government on such an important issue.

Mr Patnaik urged all the concerned Governors and Chief Ministers to demand the Prime Minister to fix a date for discussion over the issue.

The Chief Minister, in a letter to the Prime Minister yesterday, had demanded to immediately fix up a date for discussion over the issue and requested Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Rajasthan to make similar demands.

Apprehending that the proposed national mineral policy would adversely affect the interests of the states, the Chief Ministers of mineral-rich states, under the leadership of Mr Patnaik, last year submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister, urging him to intervene into the matter.

In a joint memorandum on August 6, they had requested the Prime Minister as well as the Group of Ministers to share the draft mineral policy with them before it was sent to the cabinet for approval.

Mr Patnaik said draft mineral policy is likely to be sent to the union cabinet soon but the government had not discussed it with them so far.

In the joint memorandum, the five state Chief Ministers had opposed the recommendation of the Hoda Committee and said it would go against their interest after implementation.

In the joint memorandum among other things, the Chief Ministers had demanded 20 to 25 per cent ad-valorem royalty on iron ore, a ban on export of iron ore and value addition. They also opposed the recommendations of the Hoda committee to abolish section 11 (5) of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957.

UNI

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