Speaker orders probe into mineral excavation bidding

Pardeep Singh Bali

Jammu and Kashmir Assembly was adjourned on Friday following pandemonium after opposition stormed the Speaker’s podium to protest government order allowing mining rights to non-local bidders.

Meanwhile, the speaker asked the government to hold the SRO-105, which allows bidding on mineral excavation by non-state subjects in the state. He also ordered constitution of a nine member house committee to analyze the matter. Just before the start of question hour, the opposition members of both National Conference (NC) and Congress created pandemonium in the house, demanding immediate roll back of the controversial SRO-105.

As soon as the Minster for Roads and Buildings, Abdul Rehman Veeri stood up to reply the questions in the house, the Congress Legislator, GM Saroori led by his party members created uproar and jumped in the well. The congress MLAs including Vikar Rasool, Usman Majeed, Nawang Rigzin Jora voiced that the SRO-105 was against the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. They chanted slongans ‘Chor Bazari,Rishwatkhori nahi chalegi, Punjab ke dalalo ko barkhwast karo, barkhwast karo ’

Saroori told the speaker that the SRO-105 was in clear violation to the special character of the Jammu and Kashmir. “Contractors from Punjab will get preference under the SRO-105 while our locals will continue to suffer. More than 70000 people will be rendered jobless if this SRO is implemented in the state. It is in clear violation to the article 370 besides employees from the Geology and Mining department told us that it will affect them badly,” he said.

The Congress MLAs were followed by the NC legislator and independent legislator Engineer Abdul Rashid who too jumped in the well and demanded answer from the government. Er.Rashid kept disrupting the speech of Veeri and chanted Dilli ke dalalo hosh main awo hosh mai awo. Seeing unending interruption, Veeri while replying to the question told the opposition legislators to sit and raise their issues one by one. “Your news has come to the media. We too have the right to speak here in the house. You often create uproar here. Why don’t you sit at your respective places and choose one who will raise the issue,” he told the protesting legislators.

As the opposition remained persistent on their demand, Speaker Kavindar Gupta directed the government to think over it and adjourned the house for 15 minutes. “SRO-105 is a very serious issue and it will affect the common man badly. I will direct the government to think over it and concerned minister will come up with a reply to it,” the speaker said adding the house will be adjourned for 15 minutes. Later on the direction of the speaker, the Minster for Industries and Commerce, Chander Prakash Ganga inform the house that no auction will be given to the non-state subjects.

“I am assuring you that no auction will be given to the non- state subject. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has implemented this SRO after getting guidelines from the Supreme Court,” he said. Shortly, sensing the rise in uproar, the speaker directed the government to keep the SRO-105 on hold and ordered a constitution of a committee to report on it by July 15.

To be chaired by NC legislator Muhammad Akbar Lone, the committee will have other members as Congress Legislative Party leader Nawang Rigzin Jora, BJP MLA Sukhnandan Kumar, PDP MLA Altaf Bukhari, PDP MLA Javaid Beig, BJP MLA Rajeev Jasrotia, NC MLA Davender Singh Rana, Independent MLA Hakim Muhammad Yaseen, and Peoples Conference MLA Bashir Ahmad Dar.

“I direct the government to hold the SRO-105 and a house committee to be made which will analyze the SRO and report by July 15,” the speaker said. Meanwhile the opposition leaders continued to protest in the well and demanded its immediate roll back. Later the PDP legislator, Javed Mustafa told the opposition leaders to allow the proceeding of house.

“You too are the members of the committee, so please allow the proceedings of the house,” he said. Jora told the speaker that there was a consensus of the house in the withdrawal of SRO-105 adding it didn’t needed any house committee. “Why is there need to form a house committee when there is a consensus of entire house in withdrawal of this SRO-105 .It should be withdrawal right now,” he said.



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