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Mines Ministry Asks States To Follow Gujarat Model To Curb Illegal Mining

Mines ministry asks states to follow Gujarat model to curb illegal mining

Gujaratstartups: Gujarat, which received investment proposals of over $462 billion during the recently concluded Vibrant Gujarat conference, will be a role model for other states in curbing illegal mining. The Ministry of Mines, which has hailed the state government’s online royalty pass system, has asked the states to adopt a similar system to establish uniformity.

This was discussed at the recently held meeting of the central coordination-cum-empowered committee, comprising the mines ministry and the states.

A ministry official, who did not want to be quoted, told Business Standard, “The Gujarat online royalty pass system was discussed when the states were told to table information regarding steps taken to curb illegal mining. In Gujarat, payment of royalty is done through internet banking and the system has a provision for processing data on the inter-state transportation of minerals. Gujarat has also put in place an effective report mechanism for issuance of royalty passes, registration of transport vehicles and timely submission of e-returns.”

The official said the system was operational in Gujarat for seven years without any failure. The mines secretary suggested that since transportation was monitored in terms of the validity of royalty pass and the quantity transported, the system had to be integrated with the quantum of ore transported through the railways and ports. This would go a long way in ensuring effective monitoring of mineral ore so as to detect and curb illegal mining.

The ministry asked the states to speed up the the renewals of mining leases and expedite pending applications to deincentivise illegal mining caused by delays; invest in better mineral regulation by filing up vacancies and strengthening the state directorate and formulate and implement an action plan using part of the additional funds generated as a result of ad valorem royalty.

The official said the ministry was in the process of amending rule 45 of the Mineral Conservation and Development Rules to provide compulsory registration to miners, traders, stockists and end-users in a national database and monthly reporting of all transactions to the Indian Bureau of Mines and the state government. This is to ensure full accounting from production to export. States were also told to tighten the monitoring of ore movement.

According to the official, states were asked to properly document leases by digitising cadastral maps under the National Land Records Computerisation Scheme, so that GPS coordinates of lease boundaries were available.

Source: Business Standard

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