'Karnataka to come out with its comprehensive mining policy' : BSY

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New Delhi, Aug 12 (UNI) The Karnataka Government would come out with a comprehensive mining policy to check illegal mining and promote only value added activities not only to curb over-exploitation of mineral resources but also create jobs in the state, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa today said here today.

Talking to newspersons here regarding the politically sensitive issue the CM said that the new BJP Government had not issued any fresh licences or renewed existing licences sofar or would press for issual of licences by the Centre regarding the mining of 36 blocks recommended by the previous government in 5,347 acres of forest land.

He clarified that the Government had resolved not to press the issual of licenses pending before 22 cases in the Centre nor will it ecommend to the Centre for issuing licences. The Government would abide by the decision of the Karnataka High Court verdict quashing the mining licenes in forest areas of five districts, he said.

He said joint task force consising of officials from the Police, Revenue, Law and Forest and Mining departments was being formed to curb illegal mining. An mobile squad had been set up to check illegal mining and transport. Over 150 vehicles transporting ore had been seized during the last one month. It had also seized two MT of iron ore worth Rs 30 crore stored illegally in Sandur Taluk in Bellary district, he said.

The Chief Minister said that the state was exporting Rs 8000 crore worth of iron ore every year but the royalty the state got was a measely Rs 80 crore. The state had sought the Centre to increase the royalty to atleast 10 per cent.

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