Ranchi: Dhanwar MLA Babulal Marandi on Thursday urged chief minister Hemant Soren to consider reopening the mica mining sector in Koderma and Giridih districts to ensure employment to the thousands of migrants returning to their homes amid the ongoing lockdown.
Marandi, a former chief minister and BJP’s elected legislative party leader in the Jharkhand Assembly, said restarting the mica industry in the two districts can employ two lakh people in the coming years directly and indirectly.
Stating that the government’s move to employ migrants by boosting MGNREGS and new plantation programmes will not be enough, Marandi suggested that the Hemant government must do away with the Bihar Mica Act of 1947 and come up with a fresh state mining law to rejuvenate the ailing sector.
Stressing that police should not take action on those collecting and selling mica stones which measure less than 6 inches, the former MP underscored the need to empower panchayats to purchase it from sellers, which then can be collected and e-auctioned by the state department of mines and geology. Mica was relegated into the list of minor minerals recently. “The operations of 50 mica mines can employ 50,000 people directly or indirectly. In all, 2 lakh jobs can be generated,” Marandi wrote.
Meanwhile, the government’s response to Marandi’s suggestion was not known till evening.
Despite the chief minister’s direction on Wednesday reopen industrial units in urban areas, units in Ranchi awaited permission from the district administration to resume operations. While Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FJCCI) did not issue an official statement on the development, entrepreneurs welcomed the move.
“Besides small units, traders, especially electronic store owners who are selling ACs, refrigerators and coolers, must be allowed to open as they will incur great losses once monsoon sets in within a fortnight,” Dipak Kumar Maru, a city-based entrepreneur and former FJCCI president, said.