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CM wants MMDC to carry out coal mining in state

Over Rs 1 crore spent on consultant: Syiem

SHILLONG: Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Wednesday justified assigning Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation (MMDC) to carry out coal mining on behalf of miners while Congress legislator and KHADC chief executive member PN Syiem expressed reservation over the matter.
Moving a call attention motion in the Assembly on Wednesday, Syiem said mine owners will not accept MMDC’s new role.
He also brought to the notice of the House that the state government had signed MoU with Globally Mining Services consultant for mining activities on September 24, 2015, and made a payment of Rs 9 lakh per month which will come to over Rs 1 crore till date and this is waste of public money.
However, the chief minister said MMDC will act as an instrument to give relief to coal miners who are otherwise affected due to ban on coal mining by NGT.
The chief minister said the offer of MMDC was made pending the decision of the Centre to invoke Para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution to exempt Meghalaya from the purview of central mining laws.
However, earlier the coal miners had opposed the move of the government to handover mining activities to MMDC.
According to the chief minister, once the role of MMDC is accepted, only 20 to 25 per cent profit will come to MMDC while the rest will go to the miners.
He also said with this proposal, benami transactions and activities of middle men can be checked.
“MMDC will not be the owner of the mines, but the corporation will take all the necessary measures to prepare mining plans and get various clearances after obtaining mining lease from the Government of India,” Sangma said.
The chief minister said after mining activities, the mines will be handed over to the people and there is no question of alienation of land.
“What is the problem in having MMDC as a partner rather than bringing some other businessmen or Marwaris and others from outside? MMDC is an agent of the government,” he said.

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