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Mining windfall gains dictate politics in K’taka: Ramesh

Revenue Minister G Karunakara Reddy and brother Tourism Min Janardhana have mining interests.

Union minister Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday took a dig at the BJP government in Karnataka,where at least two ministers have mining interests,saying politics in the state is defined by “windfall gains”.

“Mining has resulted in huge private windfall gains,” he said in general terms referring to the mining sector in the country,adding,”And there is no greater example of this than this very state (Karnataka).”

Responding to questions after delivering a lecture here,the Union minister of state for Environment and Forests,said,”I am speaking in the capital of the state where politics is defined by windfall gains. So,this is something we have to take very seriously.”

Karnataka’s Revenue Minister G Karunakara Reddy and his brother and Tourism Minister Janardhana have mining interests and wield considerable influence in the ruling BJP.

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Ramesh said the Union government would come out with a bill in the coming session of the Parliament to make it mandatory for mining companies to share 26 per cent of their revenue with local communities.

Ramesh also observed that while he considers an irrigation project as “public infrastructure”,it is “private profit-making venture” in the case of mining.

First published on: 28-09-2010 at 07:34:00 pm
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