Centre working with ore-rich states on value addition: Pranab

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Sunday that the union government is working together with the chief ministers of mineral-rich states on value addition, and the new mining policy would include all suggestions.

''When the new mining policy is formulated, all these will be factored in,'' said Mukherjee in Orissa's capital Bhubaneshwar. ''I received a representation from Orissa in this regard (value addition to minerals). I had a discussion with the chief minister too.''

Mineral-rich states such as Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Rajasthan have been demanding among other things inclusion of a value addition clause in the new mining policy. There is also a strong demand for a substantial increase in coal royalty.

He said the challenge was to find the correct balance between the need for economic growth and sustainability of resources.

''One of the biggest challenges is to find the correct balance between the need for economic growth, sustainability of resources and natural habitats and the opportunities that need to be created for bringing people such as those in tribal belts into the mainstream of the development process,'' he said.

Speaking at a Nalco foundation day function, Mukherjee said India has done well in regaining its growth momentum after the global financial crisis and was poised to register a 9 per cent growth by the end the current fiscal. He said the GDP growth in the first two quarters of 2010-11 had touched 8.9 per cent after an average of 7 per cent in the last two years, and hoped that the growth momentum would be retained till the end of the year.