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Tabling Shah Commission report without consultation costs mines secy his post

The government’s headache is not just in the coal mines but also in the mines ministry. And with the same swiftness in revoking mining licences,it has removed the thorny issue from the ministry

Written by Priyadarshi Siddhanta | New Delhi | Published: September 25, 2012 1:31:17 am

The government’s headache is not just in the coal mines but also in the mines ministry. And with the same swiftness in revoking mining licences,it has removed the thorny issue from the ministry.

The government has put an end to the longstanding differences between Union mines minister Dinsha Patel and mines secretary Vishwapati Trivedi. The mines secretary has been pulled out of the ministry and posted as chairman,Inland Waterways Authority of India. Trivedi (IAS 1977 Madhya Pradesh cadre) has been replaced by tourism secretary RH Khwaja (IAS 1976 Andhra Pradesh cadre).

Trivedi,appointed as mines secretary in November 2011,had been in the line of fire of the mines minister and the Prime Minister’s Office for not consulting the Union Cabinet before placing the report of the Justice Shah Commission of Inquiry into illegal mining of iron and manganese ore in Parliament.

A source in the mines ministry said Patel was also upset with Trivedi for failing to convince the Orissa government to roll back its royalty system — a system which was in violation of the Mineral Concession Rules under the existing mining laws.

Ministry official have not been able to address the concerns of ministries such as steel on certain provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Bill 2012.

“The need for reforms in the mining sector has already been emphasised by the government. The ministry’s job was to secure consensus in this direction,which was not seen to be happening,” the source said.

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