New Mines and Minerals Act being finalized: Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi, Nov.2 (ANI): Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday said that the UPA Government is in the process of finalizing a new Mines and Minerals Act.

Addressing delegates and media at a daylong session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) that was held at the Talkatora Stadium here, Gandhi said she believed the new act would secure for local people and communities a direct stake in projects in their areas.

"A law is also on the anvil to improve the terms of resettlement and rehabilitation where they are unavoidable," Gandhi added.

The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 2010 is to provide for the scientific development of mines and minerals under the control of the Union and the regulation of activities connected therewith.

This Act may be called the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 2010. It extends to the whole of India.

The new mines and mineral policy being prepared by the government is reportedly being aimed at severing the nexus between Naxals and the mining mafia in some of the mineral rich states of the country.

Rampant illegal mining has resulted in the exploitation of India's rich natural resources, and according to Union Minister of Mines B.K.Handique, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will probe the Naxal link with the mining industry.

He has also said that the government may impose a wind fall tax on miners sharing profits with workers and tribals.

Through this new law, the government is also expected to introduce a clause that would make it mandatory for mining companies to share profits and in some cases giving equity to workers and project affected locals.

Experts feel that this would be a welcome step for India's mining society.

However, if implemented, the private miners may vehemently oppose this proposal as they pay huge taxes and royalties to the government. (ANI)

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