Govt exploring PRIs' participation in mining through short term permits

Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam on Wednesday chaired a meeting to take stock of issues being faced in mining of construction material. He called for coordination between various stakeholders including Geology & Mining department, State Environment Authority, Pollution Control Board, Public Sector Undertakings and lease holders of mining blocks.

The Chief Secretary urged upon Commissioner/ Secretary Industries to examine and submit a proposal regarding possible devolution of mining rights to Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) on land under their jurisdiction through short term permits.

The decision is aimed at empowering the PRIs to raise funds through mining surpluses and address shortage of key construction material in local market, besides keeping a check on their prices.

It was also recommended that the framework for extraction procedure under local self governance mechanism, along with sharing of revenue between Geology & Mining Department and PRIs may also be worked out.

The administrative Secretary, Industries & Commerce, was asked to identify 100 locations where PRIs could be given rights for STPs and the department can apply for various permits and clearances on behalf of PRIs, besides providing them logistic support on a pilot basis.

Moreover, the department was instructed to expedite approval of mining plans in all e-auctioned blocks by July 20.

The Ecology & Environment department and Pollution Control Board were directed to expedite clearances within the rules.

Similarly, Geology & Mining Department was instructed to forward mining projects of 2nd phase auction for environmental clearance by July 31.

The Chief Secretary urged Industries Department to consider streamlining of mining auction to stabilize sale prices of minor minerals by developing a long term price fixation mechanism.

Regarding simplification of process of obtaining environmental clearances, the Chief Secretary directed administrative Secretary, Forest to examine the matter and revisit the checklist of required documentation and keep it to the minimum required by law.