scorecardAchieve 'zero harm' in mining operations in the country, says Venkaiah Naidu
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Achieve 'zero harm' in mining operations in the country, says Venkaiah Naidu

Achieve 'zero harm' in mining operations in the country, says Venkaiah Naidu
Business2 min read
New Delhi, Dec 16 () Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said the mining industry should constantly endeavour to achieve the goal of 'zero harm' in operations in the country, especially when private players are being roped in the sector.

"Our aim should be to constantly endeavour towards the goal of 'zero harm'," Naidu said here while addressing a gathering after presenting the National Safety Awards in Mines for 2015 and 2016.

The legislative approach towards safety regulations may not be the only way to deal with the issue, he said.

"Experience shows us that creating a 'culture of prevention' across all employees of an organization is critical for progress of the mineral industry towards 'zero harm'," he said.

Naidu said, "Many times these contractors adopt a risk taking attitude as they focus solely on maximizing the output. Consequently, investments in safety are often ignored purely for short-term gains. This is not acceptable. Every worker has a right to safe and decent work environment."

He noted that mining sector has witnessed major policy interventions in the recent past to promote exploration and enhance private sector participation and it has aided the sector's growth.

India is blessed with abundant mineral deposits. India produces as many as 95 minerals, which includes 4 fuel, 10 metallic, 23 non-metallic, 3 atomic and 55 minor minerals (including building stones and other materials), he said.

The mining sector is an important segment of the economy, contributing around 2.6 per cent of national GDP. In 2018-19, the gross value addition by mining and quarrying sector was Rs 4.1 lakh crore. It also provides direct and indirect employment to over 10 million people.

"Effective safety programmes will only be a reality when management at all levels fully integrate safety responsibility into the industry's mainstream. The concepts of 'self-supervision' and 'duty of care' should become the keyword for mining industry in place of the present system of 'external supervision'," the vice president said.

Miners' job is considered to be one of the most hazardous occupations and is not easy, Naidu said, adding that no country can develop without the contribution of mining industry.

India should further aspire to expand the value chains of its key minerals to leverage these resources for faster economic development, he added.

He also reminded the gathering about the unfortunate incident where 15 miners died in an illegal rat-hole mine in Meghalaya, saying it is still fresh in memory.

On the occasion, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar spoke about labour reforms and said that the government wants to codify 44 central laws into four codes.

One of the four codes, Code on Wages, has already been approved by the Parliament, while other three on occupational safety, industrial relations and social security have been introduced in Lok Sabha for consideration and passage, he added. KKS RVK