'Drafters of N-Bill ignored ILO recommendations'

New Delhi: An environmental health researcher has sought intervention of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), alleging that drafters of the Nuclear Liability Bill have ignored recommendations of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on radiation protection, reports PTI.

"India has ratified Radiation Protection Convention, 1960 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) but its provisions have not been complied with. It is yet to ratify ILO's Occupational Cancer Convention, 1974 which is concerning Prevention and Control of Occupational Hazards caused by Carcinogenic Substances.

"Drafters of the Nuclear Liability Bill appear to have ignored their recommendations," convenor and founder of Toxics Watch Alliance Gopal Krishna charged in his petition submitted to the commission yesterday.

ILO's Radiation Protection Convention with regard to maximum permissible doses of ionising radiations which may be received from external or internal sources and the maximum permissible amounts of radioactive substances has been ignored, he claimed.

In his petition to NHRC, Mr Krishna also submitted that the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment & Forests in its 25-page report on the Bill, which was tabled in Parliament on 18th August, was of the opinion that Government must have sought the opinion of ministries which are even "distantly" related to any provision of the legislation.

"When the committee inquired from the secretaries of ministries/departments of government of India who appeared before the committee as to whether the draft nuclear liability Bill was referred to them for their views/comments, some of them viz the ministries of health & family welfare, agriculture, labour & employment, food & public distribution, etc, replied in the negative," he quoted the committee as saying in the report.

He pleaded the commission to take cognisance of the submissions of "these secretaries" and direct the concerned authorities to internalise their suggestions in the text of the Bill to protect the human rights of Indian citizens and safeguard intergenerational equity.

Mr Krishna requested the Commission to start proceedings to ascertain from the authorities concerned both at Centre and the state as to how would they respond in the event of a nuclear disaster, number of existing factories and industries in the country where radioactive material is used and whether they maintain an inventory of such products.


Centre finalising plans of profit sharing in mining projects

New Delhi: The mines ministry today said it is finalising plans to make it mandatory for companies to share 26% of profit from their mining projects with the displaced, even as the industry is opposed to the move, reports PTI.

"Some industries had opposed the scheme ... But we are working on the proposal, we want to ensure that the companies seek this social licence for all future mining leases," mines secretary S Vijay Kumar told reporters here.

The proposed compensation scheme in the new mining bill is being "fine tuned" by the ministry and then, it will be sent to the panel of ministers for approval.

"The dates of the new Group of Ministers' (GoM) meeting is not out yet ... But the proposal of 26% profit sharing has been approved by the GoM in its last meeting on 30th July," a senior mines ministry official added.

Mines minister B K Handique had earlier said that his ministry is hopeful of introducing the new mining bill in the current session of Parliament, so that it is finally cleared in the winter session of the House.

However, some sections of the industry are opposed to the proposal of 26% profit sharing with persons losing their land to projects.

Industry bodies like the Federation of India Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI), had also opposed the mines ministry's earlier proposal of 26% equity sharing with the displaced, saying it is complex and unviable.

As per the proposed compensation scheme, 26% share in profit (from mining) and one per cent symbolic share will be given to those who lose their land to mining projects.

The ministry has also proposed to create a District Mineral Foundation to monitor the flow of funds from companies to the trust, which would disburse funds for development of local areas after compensating the displaced.

Besides, in case of a mine being non-functional or in losses, the ministry has proposed that the firms compensate the people affected by land acquisition, by paying them amount equal to the royalty given to state governments.

The royalty paid by mining companies to state governments runs into crores of rupees.

The new Bill seeks to expedite grant of mineral concessions in an expeditious and transparent manner, besides attracting investments in the sector. Investments worth lakhs of crores of rupees have got delayed because of land owners' resistance to sell.


Vedanta episode not to tarnish India's image: Montek

New Delhi: The Plan panel today said the government's refusal to accord environment clearance to Vedanta's proposed $1.7 billion aluminium project in Orissa would not tarnish India's image as an investment friendly destination, reports PTI.

"I don't know much about Vedanta, but yesterday's development will not undermine India's image as investment friendly nation," Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia told reporters after inaugurating an exhibition-cum-sale organised by the Central Cottage Industries Corp here.

In a big blow to Vedanta Resources, yesterday, the government had rejected environment clearance to company for bauxite mining for the $1.7 billion aluminium project in Orissa.

The government took this decision after accepting recommendations of the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) headed by N C Saxena which sought ban on the mining project in Orissa's Niyamgiri hills in view of various violations at the site.



Shadi Katyal

7 years ago

I think Mr. Montek Singh is living in dream land as most of the bureaucrat and Ministers are. We seem to live in a pond and consider it as world. How is that land of 1.2 Billions still acting like a colony and thus long live Permit Raj
Can the gentleman tell us that what proof he has to mislead the public with such statement.
It has been done for only one reason VOTES and nothing else.
They wish to keep these people in poverty till eternity.
Look around and see the poverty level and wastage of food, that should give some idea where India is headed for more poverty and less industrialisation

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