AKHIL Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram welcomed the proposal to amend the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act for protecting the rights of Vanvasis. The Karyakari Mandal of the Kalyan Ashram that met in Hyderabad on December 24, 2010 also appealed to the Government of India to reject the arguments of the business chambers and should not bow down to the pressure of the mining sector.
In a resolution adopted at the meeting, the Karyakari Mandal demanded the government to pass the proposed amendments to the Act to protect the rights of the Vanvasis without further delay. The Mandal also further demanded that the multi-national, Indian and foreign companies must pay to Vanvasis 26 per cent of their profit since they started their mining operations. This will be a step towards honouring and executing the directions of the Supreme Court in the Samata case. The Karyakari Mandal appealed to the mining companies to accept these progressive measurers in a positive and healthy spirit to ensure inclusive development of the local people in mining areas.
The amendment proposes to set up a Regulatory Authority at the Centre to monitor and implement the Act. This move to set such an authority has come at the time when cases of illegal mining have been regularly reported from the states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Karnataka. The Karyakari Mandal also called upon the elected representatives, particularly those from the Vanvasi areas to ensure that the proposed legislation is cleared in the coming budget session of the Parliament.
In another resolution, the Karyakari Mandal demanded the government to introduce Minimum Support Price System (MSP) for minor forest produces and stressed that the MSP for the forest produces should be declared before the commencement of the season of collection of forest produces.
In another resolution it demanded to clear the docks for Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill 2007 and Rehabilitation (Rehabilitation and Resettlement) of Project Affected Persons Bill at the earliest. Some other resolutions were also adopted at the meeting. (FOC)