Environment think tank welcomes mining revenue sharing

New Delhi, July 8: Environmental think tank Centre for Science and Environment Friday welcomed a group of ministers’ decision to share mining profits with local communities.

‘The government’s proposal to share the benefits of mining with local people is an important step ahead in building an inclusive growth model. The principle is what is more important, whether it is based on profit or royalty,’ CSE director Sunita Narain said.

A group of ministers headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said that coal mining companies will have to share 26 percent of their profits with the local communities, while non-coal mining companies will have to share 100 percent of their royalty.

‘A number of countries across the globe have incorporated the provision of benefit sharing in their mining legislations to enable local communities to benefit from mining activities in their region,’ Narain said, citing examples of countries like South Africa and Canada.

‘South Africa’s Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002, gives communities the opportunity to obtain a’preferential right’ to prospect or mine a mineral on land registered under the name of the community. In Canada, special mining regulations are in place to recognise the rights of the aboriginals,’ she said.