By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: The State Government is contemplating to implement the Mines and Mineral Policy, 2012 by next year.
“We would like to give sufficient time to miners to familiarise themselves with the various provisions of the policy. We are contemplating to put the policy in operation in a year’s time from now,” Deputy Chief Minister in-charge of Mining and Geology Bindo Mathew Lanong told reporters after holding an interactive session with stakeholders including miners, exporters and environmentalists here on Monday.
He said the stakeholders on principle have accepted the policy which was passed by the Cabinet on October 5 and added that they have also agreed to a provision mentioned in the policy where the Government through a notification is empowered to amend and withdraw various provisions incorporated in the policy as and when felt necessary.
Lanong, however, informed that the miners were very happy with the decision of the Government to allow the traditional practice of rat hole mining to continue. According to Deputy Chief Minister, the rat hole mining was the best possible option considering the condition and topography of the State.He informed the policy also tried to address issues concerning the land tenure system and environment. With the land in the State belongs to the community, clan and individual, Deputy Chief Minister, said “The Government understands the importance to address issues relating to this very critical matter.” While laying emphasis on the welfare on the miners, Lanong said the policy has clearly specified that miner owners would be required to provide proper health care, education, drinking water, safe and hygienic condition of living to the mine workers and their families as envisaged under relevant Labour Laws. “The State Government will set up a Mineral Advisory Committee comprising of technical experts and professional institutions to advise undertaking welfare and socio-economic development of mineral bearing and its surrounding areas,” Lanong said. Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister said that the issue of joint venture has also been highlighted in the policy.’In the era of globalization and open markets, joint venture is an accepted mode of exploration, exploitation and marketing of minerals,” he said.