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Meghalaya to seek exemption from Central law

BAN ON COAL MINING

FROM A CORRESPONDENT

SHILLONG, June 24: With an eye to get the state free from the ongoing ban on coal mining, the Meghalaya government today decided to fast track its follow up action with the Centre on the need to exempt the applicability of Coal Mines (tiolisation) Act, 1973 in the State.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said that the state’s Mining and Geology department has been given the task to take the issue up with the Centre.

“The Mining and Geology department will specifically take up with the Central government the issue related to coal mining so that the State is exempted from the purview of the said Act,” Dr Sangma said.

It may be mentioned that apart from this, the government has been taking up with the Centre to invoke Para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule through a Presidential notification to exempt the state from the Central law.

In this regard, the Chief Minister informed that a number of discussions and follow ups have been made by the State with officials of the various Central ministries especially with the coal ministry.

When specifically asked why invoking of Para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule was taking long time, Dr Sangma said that the matter needs complete deliberation between the State and the Centre.

“We have almost completed the deliberation. Therefore the Mining and Geology Department has been tasked to expedite the process of getting the state exempted from the Coal Mines (tiolisation) Act, 1973,” the Chief Minister said.  

The tiol Green Tribul (NGT) in an interim order on April 17, 2014 banned the rat hole mining in the state. Invoking Paragraph 12A (b) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution in Meghalaya means central laws will not be applied to the state which can be rescinded through a Presidential notification.

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Ankur Kalita