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Activists Oppose 10-day Public Consultations on Mining Reform, Seek Extension -Abir Dasgupta

Members of civil society and concerned activists have condemned a proposal for mining reforms issued by the Ministry of Mines. The notice that was made public on August 24 proposing substantive changes to mineral laws, rules, and regulations, is seeking public comments within a period of 10 days.

Bengaluru: On August 24, the Union Ministry of Mines posted on its website a “note on proposal for Mining Reforms”. The note detailing a series of policy changes in the mining sector states the “objective of the structural reforms proposed...are to accelerate growth and employment generation (sic)” and is described as a continuation of changes being brought in the mining sector under the Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) scheme of the Union government.

Comments and suggestions on the proposed changes have been invited from the public, as well as state governments and industry stakeholders, before September 3. This period of 10 days for public consultations on the proposal has drawn a sharp response from a coalition of civil society members and activists concerned with the mining sector.

A letter sent to the Ministry of Mines by Mineral Inheritors Rights Association (MIRA) – an association of several civil society groups in the country – has described the period of 10 days for public consultations a violation of government policy and has urged the ministry to address its concerns and follow a “robust democratic process.”

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