Munda opposes Draft National Mineral policy

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Bhubaneswar, May 17 (UNI) Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda today said the proposed National Mineral policy, drafted by the Union government, was totally against the interests of the country and meant to favour the international mining lobby.

The Jharkhand Leader of Opposition told newspersons after meeting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here that all mineral-rich states should oppose it tooth and nail.

Mr Munda said Brazil, Australia and Ukraine export their minerals as their per capita availability of mineral was very high, but India should insist on value addition to provide employment to the people as with 52 per cent of unemployed people, it could not afford to export minerals.

He said more meetings should be held among the mineral-rich states to effectively oppose the proposed policy.

Mr Munda, during his meeting with the Chief Minister, suggested to reserve seats in the medical colleges for the students of Sareikala and Kharsuan residing in Orissa, allot land for the construction of Jharkhand Bhawan at Puri and set up an archery academy in a tribal area.

Mr Patnaik, he said, assured to look into the proposals.

The former Chief Minister also assured to accord official language status to Oriya if BJP came to power in the next election.

Mr Munda said his government had taken a decision in this regard but it was changed before it could be implemented.

On the naxal problem, he said the menace was rising as the Union government had no clear policy to deal with the extremism.

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