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Buddhadeb proposes centralised mineral policy

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`Export of iron ore detrimental to the long-term'interest

THE WEST BENGAL Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, inaugurating the International Mining and Machinery exhibition on Wednesday. On the left is the Australian Minister for Industry, Tourism & Resources, Mr Ian Macfarlane. Sushanta Patronobish
THE WEST BENGAL Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, inaugurating the International Mining and Machinery exhibition on Wednesday. On the left is the Australian Minister for Industry, Tourism & Resources, Mr Ian Macfarlane. Sushanta Patronobish

Our Bureau

Kolkata, Nov. 22

The West Bengal Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, has urged the Union Government to frame a centralised mineral policy to ensure balanced growth of mineral-based industries in all states of the country. Control on minerals by the mineral bearing states should be discontinued as early as possible.

Referring to the Anwarul Hoda Committee's report on iron ore export, Mr Bhattacharjee said here on Wednesday that the Centre should review the existing export policy on iron ore. He was of the view that export of iron ore was detrimental to the long-term interest of the country. He said that mineral rich countries like Australia and Brazil followed a restrictive policy over export of iron ore while India with limited reserves was exporting iron ore.

Inaugurating the four-day long 8th International Mining and Machinery Exhibition (IMME-06), the Chief Minister reiterated that States should not be allowed to control mineral resources because such practice would encourage mineral bearing States to deprive non-mineral bearing States to develop mineral based industries. Hence the need for Central guidelines, he suggested.

The summit was organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with Ministry of Mines and Ministry of Coal. It coincides with a host of positive changes in the Indian mining scenario. The summit expects that the Union Government's upcoming mining policy is likely to direct towards promoting foreign direct investment and usage of modern technology in mining sector.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr V.R.S. Natarajan, Chairman of the mining and construction equipment division of CII and Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Earth Movers Ltd, said, "As India grows to new heights, it requires platform where important members of the industry can meet and interact for mutually beneficial growth thus contributing to nation's growth. Therefore, the summit was organised to provide a common platform for exhibitors, professionals, buyers and delegations both national and international to meet and discuss joint ventures, technology transfers and strategic B2B alliances, he added.

Mr Natarajan said that over 200 exhibitors from 15 countries, including national pavilions of Australia (Partner Country), Germany, Poland and UK were showcasing the latest products and technologies for the mining and mineral sector. The four-day event will also feature a major international conference. The Partner Country Australia is putting up the largest ever explosion of Australian technologies in an exclusive area at IMME 2006. A 50-member delegation led by the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Resources were attending the exhibition and conference.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 23, 2006)
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