Bihar doubles royalty on sand mining

Published on Aug 30, 2022 10:06 PM IST

The cabinet also approved a proposal under which the calculation of security deposit for sand mine holders would be done on the basis of the area of the mining to be done and the quantity of mining, based on district survey reports for areas to be given for mining, officials said.

The Bihar cabinet approved a 100 per cent hike in the royalty on sand to be paid by the miners from five rivers, from <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>75 to <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>150 per cubic metres. (HT Photo)
The Bihar cabinet approved a 100 per cent hike in the royalty on sand to be paid by the miners from five rivers, from 75 to 150 per cubic metres. (HT Photo)
By, Patna

The Bihar cabinet on Tuesday approved a 100 per cent hike in the royalty on sand to be paid by the miners from five rivers, from 75 to 150 per cubic metres, a move that is certain to sharply increase building construction costs in the state.

“A decision was taken to increase the price of fine quality sand excavated from Sone, Kiul, Falgu, Chanan and Morhar rivers to 150 per cubic metre from 75. This hike will increase revenue,” additional chief secretary (cabinet secretariat), S Siddharth, told reporters after the cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Nitish Kumar.

“The sand quality in these rivers is high and it is mainly used for construction purposes. So, the royalty has been increased,” Siddharth said.

He said the royalty on sand extraction by lease holders in other rivers, including Ganga, would remain the same.

The cabinet also approved a proposal under which the calculation of security deposit for sand mine holders would be done on the basis of the area of the mining to be done and the quantity of mining, based on district survey reports for areas to be given for mining, officials said.

The cabinet also approved a proposal for releasing 9,400 crore from the first supplementary budgetary allocation from state resources to meet the shortfall in central grants in meeting the wage bills and other expenses for teachers recruited under Samagra Sikhsha Abhiyan (SSA).

“We have made the provision form state resources to meet the shortfall, apart from central grants and state’s share in the scheme, as we have to pay wages of teachers and meet other expenses,” Siddharth said.

Sources said the state government has asked the central government to increase the central grants under the scheme proportionate to the number of teachers recruited under the scheme, but it has not fructified.

A total of 2.64 lakh teachers are covered under the SSA scheme from pre-school to class XII in Bihar.

“The centre’s reasoning is that it will only give its share as per the fixed formula of 70:30, which is not sufficient to meet the expenses of wage bills of number of teachers working in schools. We have been demanding that the central grants under the scheme should be reassessed and made realistic, but it has not been fulfilled. That is why we have the shortfall,” said a senior official familiar with the matter.

In another important decision, the state cabinet approved four new diploma courses at government polytechnic (textile technology) in Bhagalpur — computer aided costume design and dress making, fashion and clothing technology, garment technology and textile technology. Officials said the admission for these courses would start from next month in the academic session of 2022-23. There are total 46 government polytechnic institutes in the state.

The cabinet also approved the list of holidays, including restricted holidays, for the calender year 2023.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    A journalist for 21 years, Anirban covers RJD, legislature and government beats. Has extensive experience in covering elections and writes regularly on finance, land reforms, registration, excise and socio-economic issues.

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