Chief Minister urges centre to recognize value addition` as main criteria for granting mineral concessions.

Chief Minister urges centre to recognize value addition` as main criteria for granting mineral concessions.

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today met Union Finance Minister and Chairman of the Group of Ministers on the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill Pranab Mukherjee. Union Minister of Mines, Shri B.K Handique was also present during the discussions.

Chief Minister emphasized that the `value addition` should be recognized as the main consideration for grant of mineral concessions for direct applications. He stressed that competitive bidding should be the general methodology for grant of limited national resources since that will ensure a transparent mechanism and maximum gains to the state and the community. He added that the financial bid component of competitive offers should provide due consideration for the value of mineral property, to the advantage of the State. In addition, the state government should have the power to restrict grant of concessions keeping in view the total availability and future utilization, he stated.

Chief Minister opined that for Scheduled Areas, predominantly inhabited by tribals, there should be a special provision for their rapid development as these areas paradoxically continue to remain the most backward in spite of presence of abundant mineral resources. He conveyed that the provision of reservation of mineral bearing areas for State PSUís should be considered to meet the needs of mineral based industries in the State.

Finance Minister Mukherjee appreciated the concerns brought out by the Chief Minister and assured that all the issues will receive serious consideration of the Group of Ministers, to protect the interests of Orissa and other mineral bearing states.

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