Representatives of labourers and businessmen engaged in the mining sector on Monday demanded withdrawal of the government’s ban on issuing fresh licences for stone quarrying.
The demand was placed at a convention organised by the Communist Party of India (CPI) in Patna.
In February 2010, the government had inserted Section 53 in the Bihar Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1972, which imposed a ban on issuing mining licences or renewing lease licences with environment conservation in mind.
Jitendra Nath, a state secretariat member of the CPI, said with the ban being implemented in July last year, around 4 lakh labourers and 50,000 small and big businessmen were rendered jobless. He added that licences of businessmen, who had a lease of 20 years, were also cancelled.
He added: “It was decided that the state government must withdraw Section 53 of the Bihar Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1972. The government’s decision has rendered lakhs of people jobless.”
A convention would be organised in Patna in the first week of March where political parties, trade unions, economists and experts would be invited to discuss the ban and its impact on the state’s economy.