Naveen demands ammendment in MMDR Act

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Bhubaneswar, May 12 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today demanded an amendment in the Mines Mineral Development Regulation (MMDR) Act for the benefit of mineral-rich states.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, copies of which were released to the press here, Mr Patnaik urged the former to apprise the Chief Ministers of mineral-rich states about the proposed amendments to the National Mineral Policy (NMR).

The Chief Minister expressed concern as the Union government did not take any step in this regard even though Prime Minister's attention was drawn to the issue several times in the past.

Mr Patnaik said the mineral-rich states had stressed over the value addition of the minerals in their states for the economic development of their states, adding setting up of mineral-based industries would attract investment, create employment opportunities for lakhs of youths and would generate revenue for various poverty alleviation programmes.

He said the Section 2 of the MMDR Act should be amended to include value addition of minerals in the state as a yardstick for awarding mining lease.

The mineral-rich states were opposing the draft national mineral policy as they apprehended that the mineral-based industries in their states would be affected if reconnaissance permit, prospective license and seamless transition of minerals were allowed as enshrined in the draft policy.

The Chief Minister demanded that before finalising the proposed amendment in the National Mineral Policy, the Union government should consult the concerned states about the proposed amendment and take their views.

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