Excise duty to curb illegal mining is to be proposed soon
September, 09th 2011
The push for a credible Lokpal Act, which last fortnight led to parliamentary resolutions extending inprinciple support for probity in public life, does underscore the need for a strong anti-graft law both at the Centre and the states.
But along with institutional mechanism to deal with corruption generally and take requisite action, what's required is overhaul of sectoral norms, including those for minerals and mining.
The way ahead is to clamp down on illegal mining with transparency and multi-layered oversight; specifically mandate internationally-traded prices as the basis for domestic valuation of minerals, to genuinely arrive at scarcity value; and have a built-in system of upfront earmarking of a share of mineral royalty accruing to the states, for development and uplift of mining areas, as mineral-rich regions have high poverty ratios.