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State to seek central mines monitor

- Review meeting led by chief secy prepares wish list for finance team

Ranchi, Dec. 30: Jharkhand will raise demands for a forest management institute in the state that boasts dense vegetation and a regulatory body at the Centre to monitor functioning of mines when the 14th Finance Commission team visits the capital between January 8 and 10.

“Jharkhand has 29 per cent of forestland. So, there ought to be a forest management institute in the state,” said chief secretary R.S. Sharma, who chaired a review meeting at Project Building today.

He also suggested that the commission must support the state in fields like roads, power, infrastructure, irrigation, human resources, health, education and others. A debt management unit for effective handling of resources is also on the state’s wish list.

Presenting the development indicators during the meeting, state finance secretary A.P. Singh said Jharkhand continued to be a revenue-surplus state. He presented a detailed report on the composition of expenditure in plan, non-plan, health & education sectors.

Speaking on the adverse effects of mining activities, the chief secretary suggested that the Centre should form a regulatory body to monitor functioning of mines. “This independent body will look into the lease issues and restoration of mining areas,” he said.

The 18th board meeting of Jharkhand Accelerated Road Development Company Limited (JARDCL), which took place at the same venue, saw discussions on DPRs of proposed road projects.

Discussion on the current status of ongoing projects also took place. Besides directors of JARDCL, officials of road construction department were present at the meeting.

At the meeting, Sharma stressed on the need to construct world-class roads in the state. Jharkhand Accelerated Road Development Programme (JARDP) managing director Harish Mathur presented a vision for road development.

Apart from finance secretary A.P. Singh, principal secretary of road construction department Rajbala Verma and other senior officials were present at the meeting.

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