New mining policy to include value addition: Pranab

New mining policy to include value addition: Pranab

Bhubaneswar: The Centre is working together with the chief ministers of mineral-rich states on value addition and the new mining policy would include all suggestions, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Sunday.

“When the new mining policy will be formulated, all these will be factored in," Mukherjee told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Bhubaneswar.

“I received a representation from the Orissa government in this regard (value addition to minerals). I had a discussion with the chief minister too," he said.

Mineral-rich states like Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Rajasthan have been demanding among other things inclusion of a value addition clause in the new mining policy to ensure proper utilization of mineral resources in their respective areas.

There is also a strong demand for substantial increase of coal royalty.

Balance between economy and natural resources

The finance minister, optimistic of around 9% growth this year, said the challenge was to find the correct balance between the need for economic growth and sustainability of resources.

“One of the biggest challenges before our nation is to find the correct balance between the need for economic growth, sustainability of resources and natural habitats and the opportunities that need to be created for bringing people such as those in tribal belts into the mainstream of the development process," Mukherjee said.

“While we need to retain the growth momentum we also need to strengthen the inclusive character of the economy," he said.

Asking companies, including public sector units to look at every aspect being affected including the issues of displacement or environment, the minister said “It is equally important to harness the natural resources in a sustainable manner with due emphasis on human and ecological concerns."

India had recovered its growth momentum from the impact of the global financial and other external shocks, he said, adding that the GDP growth in the first half of 2010-11 touched 8.9% after an average of 7% in the last two years.

“Economy has been remarkably resilient to both external and domestic shocks. More importantly, the recovery has been broad-based with agriculture, industry and services all contributing to the consolidation of the growth process," he said.