Congress MP suggests formation of panel to discuss mines amendment bill

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New Delhi, Mar 19 (PTI) A Congress MP in the Lok Sabha on Friday suggested that the government form a joint committee for reconsideration and discussion on the Mines and Minerals Development (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

The Bill seeks to amend the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 to bring in mega reforms in mines sector with resolution in legacy issues, thereby making a large number of mines available for auctions.

Participating in the discussion on the Bill, S S Ulaka (INC) said: ' We are not against mining operations but we are against the way the hasty auctions which you are doing'.

He alleged that after auction, 'you will' bring big players in the sector and they would not look into the well-being of people.

'I will request the government to reconsider this particular Bill...You form a joint committee and let us discuss this,' Ulaka said.

He suggested inclusion of tribal MPs and Members of Parliament from mining affected areas, besides tribal affairs ministry, environment and forest ministry and mines ministry in that committee.

'Do consultations and see how a long lasting Bill can be introduced,' he added.

Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi on Friday said the amendments in the mines and minerals Act will help create employment opportunities and allow private sector with enhanced technology in mining activities.

Vinayak Raut (Shiv Sena) said this would be the fourth amendment in this law since 2015.

He alleged that the sector has witnessed lot of irregularities and theft and there is a need to bring proper control in the mines sector.

Supporting the Bill, Pinaki Misra (BJD) said the mines, environment and forest ministries should work in synergy to promote the growth of the sector as still there are lot of environment related hurdles impacting the segment.

NN Rao (TRS) said the provision regarding the Centre directing states about utilisation of district mineral foundation fund needs to be changed and should be left on states. PTI RR ANU ANU