CPI(M) State unit secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has demanded retention of mineral sand-mining in the public sector, but serving the needs of both public and private sector companies.

Inaugurating a joint Secretariat march taken out by various Central trade unions here on Wednesday, Mr. Vijayan accused the government of having turned a blind eye to attempts by vested private interests from outside the State to exploit the State’s rich mineral resources.

The manner in which Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML), which had at one time made a profit of Rs.100 crore, had suffered major setbacks should be an eye opener for all, he said.

Mr. Vijayan said if the government adopted destruction of public sector enterprises as its agenda, the KMML’s experience would get replicated in most other industries in the public sector.

Leaders of all major trade unions and political parties, including T.N. Prathapan, MLA, and Elaramam Karim, MLA, addressed the workers.