Sunday, June 16, 2024

Single Window Agency in State Mining Policy opposed


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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: The Indigenous Biodiversity and Social Welfare Organisation (IBSWO) has opposed the inclusion of Single Window Agency in the Meghalaya Mines and Minerals Policy 2012.

Rev. Dr. PBM Basaiawmoit, senior adviser of IBSWO, Meghalaya, in a statement issued here on Wednesday that while IBSWO appreciates the efforts of the Government to frame the Policy, efforts should have been made to do away with the Single Window Agency.

The insertion of Single Window Agency and offering incentives as per provisos of the State’s Industrial Policy, 1997 cannot be justified, he said.

“The decision is fraught with possibilities of misuse and abuse as had been seen both in Single Window Agency (SWA) 1995 and the Meghalaya Industrial Policy (MIP) 1997 and the earlier provisos empowering traditional institutions will become weak,” Basaiawmoit added.

The IBSWO asked the Government to withhold implementation of the Policy in its present form unless the controversial new provisos are totally deleted.

According to Basaiawmoit, there are certain new inclusions in the current document raising apparent doubts on the true intent of the published policy which is under the examination and study by non-governmental groups like IBSWO.

Basaiawmoit said that under the section of Regulation of Mines and Minerals, a provision has been made to give grant for ‘reconnaissance’ permit to a company meaning and implying any company – transnational and multinational which according to him will compromise the security and sovereignty of the country and will lay bare the assets and resources to a business enterprise having no patriotic allegiance and concern for biodiversity.

Moreover, up to 100 sq Km is allowed for their operations, he said, adding that the word ‘reconnaissance’ is a military terminology.

He also said that under the section of Objectives of Mining Policy, the word ‘geo-tourism’ should be substituted with the word ‘eco-tourism’ in letter, spirit and intent.

Commenting on the joint venture, the IBSWO appreciated the government for removing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from the present document.


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