The focus is on value addition and employment

Law Minister T.B. Jayachandra on Wednesday said the government will explore the possibility of either amending the Mining Policy - 2008 or bringing out a new policy in tune with various directives of the Supreme Court.

Speaking to presspersons on the sidelines of a conference on ‘Mining in Karnataka – Restoring normal operations’, organised here by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) of India, the Minister said the focus of these efforts was to give a thrust to value addition of ores.

“The government is keen on making the mining industry operate within a legal framework and ensure that it generates huge employment without destroying the environment,” he said, and assured the mining industry of taking up the issue with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

Earlier, addressing the conference, the Minister said the government had an open mind regarding the demand of the mining industry to help resume operations. “We will try to solve your problems within the framework of law and courts,” he told mining industrialists, and assured them of bringing the problems related to the mining industry for discussion before the Cabinet to find a solution.

Indicating that the government was also looking at getting revenue from mining operations to support welfare measures, he said: “The Chief Minister will present the State Budget in about 15 days. We need resources for the budget, and it can come from sectors like this.”

Referring to the legal complexities involved in mining issues, he said the government had to seek the advice of the Supreme Court even with respect to re-allotting the leases of Category C mines.

Classification of land

Some mining experts at the conference suggested the government identify land having mineral mines and classify them as “mining land” on the lines of revenue land and forest land.

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