Cabinet nod on e-auction of mining lots in state
The details of the policy will be worked out but broadly it would be two step exercise. After identifying the lots, the participants will be shortlisted and the final auctioning will be held between five participants. Moreover, it was decided that the government would auction the small mining pattas on the private land as well. As of now, the mining rights were given in forest or revenue land and, in some cases, the individuals seek permission for mining in their private land.Updated: Sep 06, 2017 20:30 IST
The Uttarakhand Cabinet on Wednesday gave nod to e-auctioning of the mining lots in the state in order to maintain transparency in the allotment of ‘pattas’, or mining rights to winning parties.
The mining of river bed material and minerals has remained a controversial subject in the state. Both the opposition Congress and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have crossed swords over allegations of rampant corruption in the mining sector.
The details of the policy will be worked out but broadly it would be two step exercise. After identifying the lots, the participants will be shortlisted and the final auctioning will be held between five participants. Moreover, it was decided that the government would auction the small mining pattas on the private land as well. As of now, the mining rights were given in forest or revenue land and, in some cases, the individuals seek permission for mining in their private land.
“Now, the government will include private land in e-auction. In such case, the first right of mining will be given to the land owner. In case, they don’t opt or they are not awarded patta, then certain amount of revenue will be shared with the land owner,” Cabinet minister and government spokesperson Madan Kaushik told the media. The minister added though no time frame has been set for the execution of the policy, but it would be done at the earliest.
But parties involved in the mining business said the government’s decision to include private land in e-auctioning could lead to various problems owing to conflict of interests. It is yet unclear whether the private land owners will have an option to give or not to give land ‘voluntarily’ in the e-auction.
The Cabinet also gave nod for the formation of the Mining Foundation in every district of the state that will spend 2% of funds generated from the mining activities in infrastructural projects.
Rattled with the back-to-back farmer deaths, the Cabinet decided to disburse up to R 1 lakh loan on 2% annual interest rate to farmers. The loan will be provided by the state cooperative banks to marginalised farmers and those from the border areas. Officials said a big number of farmers belong to these two categories. The scheme will be named after Jan Sangh ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay.
The Cabinet also gave go ahead to the housing policy that envisaged to provide 1 lakh homes to the economic weaker section (EWS). Kaushik said land developers will be given certain relaxation in the group housing projects, if they agree on allotting 35% of the total apartments to the EWS category.
“We aim to provide EWS’s in R 6 lakhs to the families who will be entitled for EWS’s as per norms” minister added.
DIESEL TO BECOME CHEAPER
In a bid to a parity on diesel price of neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, the Cabinet decided to levy 17.48% value added tax (VAT) on the fuel. Diesel was costlier by nearly Rs 2 in the hill state in comparison with UP due to different rates of VAT. Uttarakhand would apply 21% VAT on diesel while UP is levying 17.48% VAT. Due to the cost difference, vehicle owners from Uttarakhand prefer filling diesel tanks from border areas. This is resulting in loss to the state coffers. It is learnt petroleum products are out of Goods and Services Tax (GST) reform.