Digvijay opposes royalty on mining
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Last Updated: Thursday, March 08, 2012, 00:33
New Delhi: The provisions for sharing of profits and royalty on mining in the new Mines Bill were today opposed by senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh who contended that it would become another source of corruption.

Singh, who favoured direct transfer of funds collected through mining to the affected people, said he would put forth his objections before the Parliamentary Standing Committee that is currently examining the Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation (MMDR) Bill.

"Give, whatever you want to give, directly to the land oustees. Transfer the money directly to his account rather than giving it to the administration," he said while addressing a FICCI conference on sustainability.

"What is more important is not to divert these funds to the bureaucracy by itself... it has to be given directly to the stakeholders... Let them create a self-help group for that particular mining area," the Congress General Secretary said.

As per the provisions in the bill, coal mining firms will have to contribute 26 per cent of their profits, after tax, into a district mineral fund, while the other mining companies will have to share an amount equal to the royalty paid.

Singh said that 26 per cent profit-sharing clause is "not practical and will not help the oustees at all."

However, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, who was also present at the conference, defended the provisions of the Bill by saying that the district mineral fund will get a collection of almost Rs 200 crores, which will be used for local infrastructure development.

"The proposal is not to take that money into a state fund," he said explaining the government's position on it.

The Government position, however, failed to impress Singh who stuck his ground saying, "That exactly is my objection.

This is going into the hands of the district magistrate and not in the hands of the land oustees."


First Published: Thursday, March 08, 2012, 00:33

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