Skip to main content

Reduce mining area, set aside 26 per cent profit for affected people in the new bill, demands MM&P

By Our Representative
Mines, Minerals & People (MM&P), a national alliance of over 200 mining affected communities and support groups, has taken strong exception to a new provision in the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015, which seeks to increase the area limits for license and mining lease, without specifying any ceiling. The current ceiling is 10 km.
Saying that this would spell "a death-knell for people living in mineral rich regions", MM&P insists, "Even developed mining economies like Australia are reducing mining lease areas to avoid non-mineralised zones in lease areas. In Australia, maximum lease area allowed was 10 square km till 2006 and now it is limited to the area of ore bodies in a prospected site plus infrastructure for mineral concession."
The Bill, passed in the Lok Sabha and awaiting Rajya Sabha nod, is before Parliament's select committee for review. MM&P president Ravi Rebbapragda and general secretary Ashok Shrimali, a Gujarat-based activist, are seeking intervention by committee members not to allow the bill to be passed in Parliament in its current form. The bill seeks to convert a recently-promulgated ordinance by the Government of India.
Also taking exception to the proposal to set up a District Mineral Foundation (DMF) in the Bill, the MM&P says, with this, "the social commitment towards development of affected communities has been significantly watered down." It adds, "It represents moving away from the concept of benefit sharing", which was there in earlier versions of June 2010 Bill, which allowed "provision of granting 26 per cent ownership".
In fact, according to MM&P, "the MMDR bill is completely silent on obtaining consent from the communities before mining operations are initiated especially in tribal regions", demanding, "All applications for mining concessions should be put before the Gram Sabha. As a practice, Gram Sabha should be convened to discuss the proposals and accept objections for at least 30 days thereafter."
MM&P further objects to extending the duration of a mining lease to 50 years. "This would affect effective and strict scrutiny. This will have serious implications to intergenerational equity. Ideally the duration of lease should be 10 years with provisions for renewal only on strict compliance", it believes. Till now, a mining lease was allowed for a maximum of 30 years and a minimum of 20 years that could be renewed for 20 years.
Then, MM&P says, the bill "does not include definitions of affected persons and reasonable compensation", says MM&P, adding, there is a need to clearly define ‘affected persons’ that captures "the social, cultural and environmental impacts. It should not only include people losing lands to a mining project, but also people whose livelihood is affected." And, the compensation amount should be linked to inflation.
These changes are needed, according to MM&P, because the states "richest" in mineral resources are also amongst India’s poorest. "Chhattisgarh’s mineral contribution to GDP is 12 per cent but it reports the second highest incidence of poverty amongst all Indian states (47 per cent), after Bihar. "An estimated 1.64 lakh of forestland has been diverted; 90 per cent of India’s coal and 80 per cent of other minerals are found in areas inhabited by tribals".

Comments

TRENDING

Allow international human rights observers, media to access Kashmir: US lawmakers

Counterview Desk
In a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two members of the American Congress, Pramila Jayapal and James McGovern, raising "significant concerns" about what they call "humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jammu & Kashmir”, quoting "credible reports" from journalists and advocates on the ground" have said that "the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse, imposed de facto curfews on residents' and cut off internet and telephone access in the region.”

TN woman's No Caste, No Religion struggle 'follows' ideals of Marx, Ambedkar, Periyar

By Sheshu Babu*
In these days of rising communal tensions, a courageous woman from Tamil Nadu achieved her dream of obtaining 'No Caste, No Religion' certificate through persistent struggle. This is quite a significant achievement. It comes alongside some colleges in West Bengal introducing 'humanity', 'agnostic' , 'secular' or 'non-religious' in the application forms for online submission for students who are unwilling to disclose their faith.

Rescind Gates Foundation award to Modi, demand three Nobel Peace laureates

Counterview Desk
In a major boost to those opposing the award to the Gates Foundation’s proposed to be awarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, three Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire (1976), Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman (2011) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), have in an open letter called upon Milinda and Bill Gates to withdraw their decision, stating Modi is allegedly involved in human rights violations.

US Kashmiri diaspora body: World leaders, UN 'not acting', India enjoys total impunity

Counterview Desk
Ahead of the United Nations General Assembly session, to begin on September 17 in New York, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, secretary-general of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, a non-profit organization based in Ohio, US, claiming to focus on providing information on Kashmir, has regretted that despite "violent" behaviour of Indian authorities in Kashmir, they enjoy "total impunity" across the world.

Modi used to 'run errands' during Emergency, his role was that much: Top JP associate

By Rajiv Shah
In a sharp exposure, well-known Gujarati critic, journalist and activist Prakash N Shah, who had been among the main contact persons of Jay Prakash Narayan (JP) in Gujarat, has recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “merely running errands” during the Emergency (1975-77) period, adding the PM’s stature has been “sought to be unnecessarily inflated”, though adding, he is not saying this to “belittle him.”

Jharkhand riverine terminal: 485 families 'displaced', lose land, livelihood in Sahibgunj

Counterview Desk
Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposes to inaugurate on Thursday India’s second riverine Multi-Modal terminal (MMT) at Sahibganj in Jharkhand, built at a cost of Rs 290 crore reportedly in a record time of about two years, several civil rights organizations* have said that the government has failed to address the high-profile terminal’s social and environmental concerns.

Now clampdown on rally, arrest of pro-freedom activists in Pak-occupied Kashmir

Counterview Desk
In a fresh evidence, international human rights organizations are not just confining their attention on the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), whose special status was taken away by the Government of India in early August, leading to an unprecedented clampdown on the region. They have simultaneously begun focusing on the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), where the situation is said to be worsening.
Thus, the International Human Rights Council ((IHRC) Hong Kong (HK), a top human rights organisation, said to be working towards to the promotion peace, equality, fundamental rights and social justice “as enunciated in the UN Human Rights Charter and other instruments of human rights”, has noted now a new wave of independence movement has struck PoK.  With offices in US, UK, Switzerland and Hong Kong, and having Kirity Roy and Lenin Raghuvanshi as IHRC office bearers from India, in a statement, it has claimed that on September 7 one of the biggest pro-Independenc…

Govt of India 'moves' to hold Assam-type foreigners' tribunals across India, warns report

Counterview Desk
A People’s Tribunal on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has warned in its interim jury report that two recent notifications of the Government of India may lay down the groundwork for triggering an NRC process in different parts of the country, pointing towards recent moves towards this.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk
“Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

New sample suggests high pollution off Vadodara effluent channel, 'requires' action

Counterview Desk 
Gujarat’s top environmental group Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) has sharply criticized the Gujarat Pollution Control Board’s (GPCB’s) “on-serious, casual letter” dated September 5, which allegedly suggests that the top state state agency does not favour taking any action Central Gujarat’s effluent treatment plant, Vadodara Enviro Channel Ltd (VECL).