CPI-M wants mineral policy to restrict mining

February 27th, 2008 - 8:53 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Wednesday sought a national mineral policy to regularise the supply of minerals, especially iron ore. The CPI-M, which opposed a draft mineral policy prepared by a Group of Ministers (GoM), said the iron ore mining sector would face a serious crisis if the government did not come out with a mineral policy soon.

“The manner in which iron ore, for example, is being exported, plundered and looted, a day will come when our national stock will be exhausted. As it is, the present stock will last us only 20 more years,” CPI-M leader Basudeb Acharya told reporters here.

He also demanded a ban or restrictions on the export of iron ore from the country. He said India exports 90 million tonnes of iron ore annually.

“The central government does not have a policy on the iron ore mining like the one for the coal industry. As a result, states like Jharkhand were refusing to give ore to West Bengal for the modernization of the IISCO (Indian Iron and Steel Company) plant in West Bengal,” Acharya said.

He said the government should come out with a comprehensive policy on the issue.

The CPI-M leader also demanded that the central quota for rice for Kerala and wheat for West Bengal should be restored in order to ensure the effective functioning of the public distribution system (PDS) network in the two Left-ruled states.

The Left MPs staged a sit-in protest in the morning in front of the main gate of parliament raising the demand for the restoration of the food grain quota for the two states.

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