Herald: State is trustee of natural resources: Draft National Mineral Policy
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State is trustee of natural resources: Draft National Mineral Policy

11 Jan 2018 06:08am IST

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Team Herald

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11 Jan 2018 06:08am IST

Report by
Team Herald

Says govts should ensure that the full value of extracted minerals is received by the State

PANJIM:  In what could give a major boost to the environmentalists fighting for inter-generational equity, the Draft National Mineral Policy 2018 has established that State is the trustee of natural resources on behalf of the people and respective State governments should ensure that the full value of extracted minerals is received by the State. 

The Draft National Mineral Policy, drafted by Dr KV Rao Committee, kept open for public suggestions till February 9, has proposed that State government will identify areas that are critically fragile in terms of ecology and declare as ‘in-violate areas’ or ‘no-go areas’ out of bounds for mining. People’s participation will be focused upon to prevent illegal mining. 

“There is a need to understand that natural resources, including minerals, are a shared inheritance where the State is the trustee on behalf of the people to ensure that future generations receive the benefit of inheritance,” draft policy document reads. 

“State government will endeavour to ensure that the full value of the extracted minerals is received by the State,” it added. 

The policy had admitted the very fact that extraction of minerals impacts other natural resources such as land, water air and forest. The policy proposes banning of mining operations in identified ecologically fragile and biologically rich areas. 

“All mining shall be undertaken within the parameters of a comprehensive sustainable development framework, which will ensure that environmental, economic and social considerations are integrated effectively in all decisions on mines and minerals issues,” the documents states. 

The policy also speaks about welfare of mining-affected people, wherein it has proposed that the mining companies will ensure that suitable, appropriate, relief and rehabilitation packages are granted to those whose land are acquired for mining purpose and those affected due to the project. The company has to also ensure a sustainable income for such population. 

The policy mainly focuses on mine closure, mine safety, mineral security, foreign trade, deep sea and beach sand minerals. 

The policy has laid detailed emphasis on exploration of minerals, especially which the country has poor resource cum reserve base despite having the geographic potential for large resources. Apart from government agencies, the policy has kept open scope for private players to undertake exploration. 

Policy also ensures that the regulatory environment is conducive to ease of doing business with simpler, time-bound procedures for obtaining clearances. The policy claims that since mining contributes significantly to State revenue by way of auctions, there is a need for an efficient regulatory mechanism with enabling e-governance system to prevent illegal mining. 

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