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SHILLONG: Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said on Tuesday the State government is pursuing exemption from central mining laws.
“We are seeking exemption and the issue has already been taken up. We are pursuing the matter,” the chief minister said.
What the government is looking at is exemption from the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973, and amendment to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act.
Sangma’s statement was in response to the questions raised by P.N Syiem (Congress) on the mining lease signed by the government.
According to Syiem, since the land and minerals belonged to the people, the government cannot sign the mining lease without the consent of land owners. He also questioned as to how the Centre can allow the State government to sign the mining lease.
“This is against the sentiments of the people. The government should write to the Centre that we are not governed by the central legislation,” Syiem said.
However, the chief minister said no mining lease was signed without the consent of land owners as the lease is governed by MMDR rules.
He also said the House had already passed a resolution on the need to exempt Meghalaya from the central laws so that it can resume mining activities.