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Nod to mining policy, govt eyes Rs 400-crore revenue 

Chandigarh, October 17

Enabling the entry of big players in the business of sand mining by dividing the state in seven clusters — each comprising of two to three districts — the Cabinet today approved the much-awaited Punjab State Sand and Gravel Policy, 2018. The policy aims at capping the transportation cost and sale price of sand and gravel to the end user.

Sticking to the existing policy of granting contracts by auctioning mining blocks through progressive bidding instead of the earlier process of auction by individual mines, the government claimed that it would not only boost the state revenue to nearly Rs 400 crore annually, but also result in self-regulated price control mechanism and check rampant practice of illegal mining.

Denying that the big players would have unfair advantage in the trade, Water Resources Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria said individuals and consortia of up to three such entities would be eligible to bid for mines.

He said the government was hopeful of bringing down the rate of sand and gravel to less than Rs 2,000 per 100 cubic ft. “Both sand and gravel shall not be sold by the concessionaire at the mining site at more than Rs 9 per cubic ft, which includes cost of loading. The maximum rates linked to distance that can be charged per cubic ft for transportation of sand and gravel will be notified. It will be the responsibility of the concessionaire to dispatch sand and gravel through only those transporters who agree to transport it at notified or less rates,” he said.

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