Rajasthan government today announced the state Mineral Policy-2011 to promote value addition in minerals and generate employment while maintaining balance with environment considerations. Announcing the policy after a state cabinet meeting here, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that the last Mineral Policy was implemented 17 years back hence it was necessary to bring a new policy to promote scientific mining and meet the challenges in the sector. "We have prepared the policy keeping environment balancing and corruption in consideration. We want to promote transparency, so several provisions in regard to different process have been made in the policy which would help in curbing corrupt practices," Gehlot told reporters. "Balancing the considerations of environment while mining is a major issue and one of the objectives of the policy is to exploitation of minerals while balancing the environment considerations," he said. In case of mining minerals, a system of disposal through auction will be adopted.
Certain plots will be reserved for societies of unemployed youths belonging to SC, SC, OBC and Special Backward Class categories, unemployed mining engineers dependent of defense martrys. Gehlot informed that the initial term of minor mineral leases will be increased from 20 to 30 years and the total period including renewal will be increased from 60 to 90 years and 26 per cent of profit from new leases in tribal areas will have to be spent on welfare of the tribal areas. "Special efforts will also be made to check illegal mining and the provisions to deal with the offenders will be made more stringent. The viligance wing of the mines department will be strengthened and mineral check posts will be modernise," Gehlot said. He said that no mining activity will be allowed within the notified boundaries of wild life sanctuaries and national parks. When the notification about eco-sensitive zone is issued by the forest department, the mining will be regulated according to the provisions contained in the notification. The mine owner shall be made liable for compulsory maintenance of medical and life insurance policy for each worker and mine safety standards will be strictly enforced, the CM added.