Current Affairs

Goa Govt commences renewal of mining leases

Even as the mining activity remains suspended due to the Supreme Court order, the Goa Government has begun the process to collect stamp duty by renewing the mining leases in areas not falling under forest cover.

This is to make up for the financial losses caused to the state exchequer in the absence of royalty.

Directorate of Mines and Geology has issued notices to around seven mining lease holders, which will give revenue of Rs 161 crore to the state treasury in the form of stamp duty. The notices maintain that their leases which were supposed to be renewed in 2007 would now be renewed for 20 years till 2027.

“The notices are issued to pay the stamp duty and renew leases only to those mines which are not falling in the forest areas. That means they do not require forest clearances,” Parag Nagarcekar, Assistant Director of Mines and Geology Department, said.

Official records show that there are 42 mines which are outside the forest area (hence do not require forest clearance), of which seven have been issued notices to pay the stamp duty, after a scrutiny of their documents.

The notices signed by Director of Mines and Geology Prasanna Acharya mention that the stamp duty has to be paid by February 28, 2013. Manohar Parrikar government last year had amended the stamp duty act by introducing a clause which makes it mandatory for the mine owners to pay the duty for next 20 years at a time when his lease is being renewed.

The mining leases in the state were not renewed since 2007, although several of the firms had applied for the renewal.

Nagarcekar said that only those mines which had applied before 2007 would be considered for renewal. In all 336 mining lease holders were eligible to apply for renewal, of which 118 were working mines, while the rest were dormant in 2007.

“Government has taken a stand before the Supreme Court that the renewal of mining lease deed would be expeditiously carried out,” he said. The extraction and transportation of ore has been stopped in Goa by the apex court pending inquiry by the Central Empower Committee (CEC).


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