INDIACSR News Network
NEW DELHI: Mining is being undertaking in several parts of the country including tribal areas. The State Governments as the owners of minerals grant mineral concessions which include mining leases allotted to mining companies. The welfare scheme and programes implemented by these companies are monitored by the State Government.
The Central Government has enunciated National Mineral Policy, 2008, which seeks to develop a sustainable framework for optimum utilisation of the country’s natural mineral resources for the industrial growth in the country and at the same time improving the life of people living in the mining areas, which are generally located in the backward and tribal regions of the country.
The Mineral Policy also enunciates that special care will be taken to protect the interest of host and indigenous (tribal) populations through developing models of stakeholder interest based on international best practice.
Land for mining purpose may consist either of voluntary agreement between the land owner and the miner or land acquisition by the requiring bodies/State Government/Union Territories.
In order to ensure inclusiveness of local population in Mining activities, the Government has introduced a draft Mines and Minerals(Development & Regulation) Bill in Lok Sabha which provides for:
• suitable compensation for all exploration activities to be payable to the person or family holding occupation or usufruct or traditional rights on the area of exploration,
• all Mining Lease holders, including public sector undertakings and private sector companies to pay annually into a District Mineral Foundation set up at District level:–
i. a sum equivalent to royalty in case of major minerals (other than coal);
ii. a sum equivalent to 26% of profit in case of coal minerals; and
iii. in case of minor minerals a sum prescribed by the State Government.
• a portion of the amount paid into the District Mineral Foundation shall be used to make recurring payments to people affected by mining related operations.
• all mining companies to allot atleast one share at par to each person of the family affected by mining, so as to give a sense of ownership in the enterprise.
• all mining companies to provide employment or other compensation as stipulated under Rehabilitation &Resettlement policy.