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Karnataka to unveil Mining Policy soon

Written by: Staff
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Bangalore Apr 6 (UNI) Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy today announced a series of policy initiatives in the State Assembly including unveiling of a new Mining Policy to curb injudicious and illegal mining activity.

Amidst protest by the opposition for making a suo moto statement at the fag end of the budget session, Mr Kumaraswamy said the government also aimed to evolve a policy to promote developmental projects in the State in partnership with the private sector. He promised an array of programmes to promote various sectors of economy including Horticulture, industry, food processing, Floriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries.

He said efforts would be made to reduce the gap between urban and rural areas.

Even as Mr Kumaraswamy stood up to make the statement, Leader of the Opposition Dharam Singh quipped ''is it your farewell address.

Will there not be another occasion''. Senior Congress leaders Mallikarjuna Kharge and R V Deshpande and JD(U) Leader J C Madhuswamy also opposed the move describing the statement as a wrong precedent.

The Chief Minister said he wanted to make the statement on March 27 when the house passed the Budget for 2006-07. However, he could not do so as the opposition members had staged a walkout.

He said the government was planning to levy road cess on trucks carrying excess load of iron ore and crack a whip on illegal mining activity in the forest lands. Several mining companies and individual mine owners were engaged in illegal mining in forest land on the strength of fabricated records, he added.

He said the government would make forest areas free of mining and come down heavily on land grabbers.

UNI VK MSP PM BS2257

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