Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Bhubaneswar, Oct 25. (PTI): A bureaucrat who quit the civil services to work for poverty eradication in Orissa has demanded the mining laws be suitably amended to fight the menace in mineral-rich states.
The central Government should amend laws to facilitate suitable profit from the mining sector through bidding by qualified parties. This step could generate additional annual revenue of Rs 4,400 crore from the present production level, Jatish Chandra Mohanty, a former IAS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre, said here.
"With matching financial assistance from banks towards livelihood projects, it will be possible to reconstruct rural Orissa and eliminate poverty in five years," he told a news conference here on Monday.
The fund collected can be utilised to create rural infrastructure and livelihood avenues for 48 per cent of the people living below poverty line, he said.
Mohanty, along with some senior citizens and young activists, has also decided to launch an 'Odisha Mora, Khani Mora' (campaign for my developed Orissa) campaign and would submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with at least one crore signatures.
Claiming the State Government was ignoring public interest while granting mining leases, Mohanty said a mechanism was required to channel at least five per cent of the net profit of a company for public welfare.
"The additional revenue accruing from the mining sector should not make good the deficit of State finances, but be earmarked for livelihood projects for the poor", Mohanty said.