Other States

Campaign for fair national mineral policy

An alliance of institutions, NGOs and communities have jointly launched The Future We Need Campaign, a initiative to make intergenerational equity an essential part of the country’s new National Mineral Policy.

Plea to civil society

The Dr. K.R. Rao Committee has been entrusted by the Ministry of Mines with drafting the new National Mineral Policy by October 31. Claude Alvares, director of Goa Foundation, which fights against illegal mining, said the campaign appeals to civil society to petition the committee to create a just and fair mineral policy.

Mr. Alvares said, “A draft letter endorsing our principles can be downloaded from www.thefutureweneed.org/letter and sent to the committee either via email or post.”

Ravi Rebbapragada, chairperson of mines, minerals & People, said the campaign was an opportunity to protect the wealth of future generations. Mr. Rebbapragada said, “We will have to make sure the principle of Intergenerational Equity is at the core of the new policy. For decades, communities directly impacted by industries like mining have been resisting an assault on their rights. We must ensure that this is not the future our children will inherit.”

Mr. Alvares said the current policy was “grossly unfair, unconstitutional and violates the principle” of intergenerational equity. He said “extraordinary losses” in mineral resouces have been well-documented in States such as Rajasthan, Karnataka, Goa, Odisha and Jharkhand.

95% loss in value

A document released by Goa Foundation points out that between 2004 and 2012) around 95% of the value of the minerals in the State was lost. The per-head loss from recent “legal” lease renewals was ₹10 lakh. Data from across the country on iron ore, coal, oil and gas reserves show a similar trend. Mr. Alvares said, “Everyone is losing equally, while a few are becoming super-rich. This is looting economics, not trickle-down economics.”

The campaign claims that under-pricing of minerals is unfair. The people behind the campaign said that the State is the trustee of natural resources and it is duty of citizens to ensure preservation of the principal value. If natural resources are being sold no loss should be suffered and citizens must get the full economic value. Every paisa received must be saved in a new inheritable asset, which retains its value over multiple generations.

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Printable version | Sep 30, 2020 6:45:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/campaign-for-fair-national-mineral-policy/article19792444.ece

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