Mineral Exploration Corporation gets cabinet nod

Bhubaneswar: The State Cabinet today approved setting up of the Odisha Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (OMECL) to tap virgin mining fields and streamline procedures for mineral exploration.

“The Corporation will undertake scientific mineral exploration of ore-bearing virgin areas to at least G2 level (general exploration) for facilitating the auction of mineral blocks,” chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi told reporters after the meeting.

He said the Corporation, which will be a subsidiary of Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), can also take up exploration work on behalf of mining leaseholders and other organisations.

The initial paid-up capital of the corporation is expected to be Rs 5 crore and the total authorised capital Rs 20 crore, he added.

The Cabinet also decided to amend the Industrial Policy Resolution (IPR)-2015, making provision to allow industries to avail land at the IPR rate instead of the prevailing benchmark value of land by the Revenue department.

Apart from this, land registration, ground rent and cess will be fixed at the rate of IPR-2015 instead of the rate fixed by the Revenue department, Padhi pointed out.

The Cabinet also approved a proposal of the Panchayati Raj department for amendment to Odisha Gram Panchayat Act, 1964 for term rotation of the Sarpanches.

“The state government had earlier brought an amendment to the Act wherein it had reduced the two-term reservation provision for Ward members, Panchayat Samiti members, Zilla Parishad members etc. to one term. But the Sarpanches were not brought under the provision in the amended Act. Taking this into consideration, the Cabinet has approved amendment to this Act to include the Sarpanches,” Padhi said.

Giving details of the amendment, he said the rotation of reservation category for the Sarpanches will be changed after the completion of their five-year term. For instance, a panchayat reserved for a Scheduled Caste candidate in the present term will be reserved for other categories like Scheduled Tribe or General in the next term.

“The fresh amendment to the Act will be made through an ordinance considering the ensuing Panchayat elections in the state the process for which has already started,” the chief secretary added.

The Cabinet also approved the Odisha Public Library Rules framed under the Odisha Public Library Act to establish a network of public libraries in the state and the appoint the Director Culture as the Director for the development of these libraries in future.

It also approved amendment to Odisha Prosecution Service Rules to ensure a mandatory 3 percent reservation for persons with disability for recruitment as assistant public prosecutors.

Besides, it also gave approval for amendment to Odisha Official Language Act, 1954. “Though the Act was made in 1954, there was no provision of rules for this Act. In May this year, the chief minister had asked the State Cabinet to discuss the Act. Later, the state government had promulgated an ordinance for amendment to the Act for making of rules. The ordinance in the meanwhile, has been approved by the Governor and the Law department is working out the rules for this Act, which will be announced very soon,” Padhi said.

The Cabinet also cleared the proposal for amendment to the Odisha Subordinate Fodder Service Rules, 2012 in which some changes have been made in the recruitment and conditions of the services of the subordinate officials of the Veterinary department.