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Odisha AG seeks info on mineral policy


OST Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Aug 5 :

Accountant General of Odisha has sought information from the State Government on its policy for development and conservation of mineral wealth in the state.download

The AG’s office, which is assessing the performance of steel and mines department, has requisitioned details on as many as eight aspects related to management of mineral assets.

The AG has also in his letter to the state Steel and Mines department wanted to know whether the state government has formulated any prospective plan or policy for the development and conservation of minerals.

The letter has sought definite information on whether the MoUs signed with various companieshave been executed in conformity with any prescribed policy.

The AG has also asked for particulars of mineral reserves including official gazette notifications for grant of concessions to miners.

“If the answer is in negative, the reasons for non-grant may be stated. Case wise details may be furnished where concessions (were) given on application by individuals after getting prospective licence (PL) or otherwise in respect of areas not notified by Government,” the letter said.

Meanwhile, steel and mines minister Rajnikant Singh said though there were rules earlier, the State Government has been adopting new measures from time to time to ensure the best possible conservation of mineral property.

In 2012, the state Government had decided to allow mining for captive use only and not to renew mining leases granted to companies, which have no plant operational in the state.

It was also decided to reserve mineral-bearing areas in favour of state-run Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) although the Centre had opposed the move.

“The decision has been taken keeping in mind the interests of the state ‘,  Singh said.

The Union mines ministry had pointed out that the State Government cannot reserve any area not already held under any prospecting licence  or mining lease  for undertaking mining operations through a government company or corporation owned or controlled by it.