Even as Justice M B Shah Commission probing illegal mining scheduled the day for hearing on violation of Rule-37 of the Mineral Concession Rule, 1960 at its Ahmedabad office on Wednesday, discussion on corporate social responsibility (CSR) by the mining companies dominated the proceeding.

Senior counsel Gopal Subramanium set the tone of CSR by making a presentation which covered a detailed action plan in a time-bound manner. The former Solicitor-General, who took personal interest in the preparation of a blueprint for socio-economic development of the people living in mining areas of Keonjhar and Sundergarh districts, reportedly told the commission that several mine owners and raising contractors are ready to contribute for the proposed development of social infrastructure.

To start with, Subramanium told the commission that six miners have agreed to contribute `1 cr each to an  independent Trust managed by trusties nominated from among eminent public personalities and expert in their field. A total of `100 cr was committed as trust fund for the expenditure to be spent on various identified projects. The commission will have a detailed discussion on the matter during its April 13 hearing.

The lessees who have agreed to make significant contribution to the proposed Trust include Sirajuddin, R P Sao, KJS Ahluwalia, Indrani Patnaik, Kalinga Mining Company and raising contractor Triveni Earth Movers. The commission will work out details of  the constitution and operation of the proposed Trust for undertaking CSR activities in the mining areas which have been so far neglected.

The commission, during its March 16 hearing on MC Rule violation, expressed concern over poor infrastructure and living standard of the people in the two districts and asked if mining companies could make their contribution for the development under CSR.

‘’If you people look into the real development of these two districts and the poor people, I would recommend the Government of India to condone small and common irregularities that had taken place over years,’’ Justice Shah had assured. While talking to media, Justice Shah said mine owners have come up with some concrete plan for development activities in Keonjhar and Sundargarh districts, which is most required and he would guide them to implement it.

Stamp Bill passed

Bhubaneswar: The Assembly on Wednesday  passed the Indian Stamp (Odisha Amendment) Bill, 2013 which proposed to charge stamp duty at the rate of 15 per cent of the amount of the average royalty of the highest annual extraction of minerals permitted under the approved mining plan. Introducing the Bill on Tuesday, Revenue Minister S N Patro said the Bill proposed to enhance the stamp duty chargeable on the instruments of grant and renewal of mining lease. Since a large number of mines in the State are under deemed extension for a long time without grant of renewal, the State Government is deprived of a substantial amount of revenue.

Courtesy: Indian Express

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