Odisha mulls revised policy to regulate gemstone sector

Bhubaneswar, Jan 20 (IANS) The Odisha government is considering a revised policy for the unorganised gemstone mining sector that would facilitate the state earn Rs.50-60 crore per annum.

The government has decided to amend the gemstone policy, which was last amended in 1998, to regulate the sector.

“We have gemstone deposits in Kalahandi, Rayagada, Koraput, Angul, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj districts. But in the absence of an effective policy to regulate the sector, we are not getting any revenue from the deposits,” said state Steel and Mines Minister Praful Mallick.

Stressing that there is a need to amend the policy to regulate the sector, he said the government would prepare the draft policy by March.

As the gemstones are being transported to other states from Odisha, he said the policy would regulate illegal transportation besides exploration while violation of norms would attract possible punishment.

He said more employment can also be created through the policy.

Sources said that in 2014, the steel and mines department had decided to undertake surveys in 80,707 square kilometre area of northwest and central Odisha to find traces of coal, gold and gemstone.

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