Mining contracts: Punjab govt to go ahead with progressive bidding
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Mining contracts: Punjab govt to go ahead with progressive bidding

CM has directed the dept concerned to explore possibility of setting up a mining corporation, as suggested by local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu

punjab Updated: Jun 27, 2018 11:42 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Mining contracts,Punjab govt,progressive bidding

The Punjab government will continue with the system of progressive bidding for grant of mining contracts in the state. The decision to this effect was taken on Tuesday during a high-level meeting chaired by chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to discuss various issues relating to mining.

The chief minister also directed the mining department to explore the possibility of setting up a mining corporation, as suggested by local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Since the establishment of a mining corporation, on the lines of Telangana as suggested by Sidhu, may take time, the chief minister said the state government would continue to follow the progressive bidding policy, which it had adopted and had been upheld by the Supreme Court. This would ensure that the process is carried out with transparency and illegal mining is curbed, he added.

Giving details of the meeting, an official spokesperson said Sidhu’s suggestion was discussed threadbare and it was decided to follow up the discussions with a detailed examination of the proposal to see how best it could be taken forward.

Amarinder, while batting for progressive bidding as the best methodology in the present circumstances to tackle the menace of illegal mining, asked the department to work out the modalities for the conduct of auctions in strategically established clusters.

Expressing concern over the escalating prices of sand as a result of the stringent steps taken by the government to check illegal mining, the chief minister directed revenue & irrigation minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria to initiate immediate steps for desilting of rivers for flood protection and start the process immediately after monsoon. The de-silted sand could be pumped into the market to ease the pricing pressure, he added.

Reiterating his government’s zero tolerance to illegal mining, Amarinder asked the mining department to deploy high-end monitoring equipment, including geo-tagging of sites and installation of GPS tracking of trucks, to improve enforcement check unlawful mining.

Underlining the need to ensure level-playing field to all stakeholders, including the government, the consumers and the private players involved in mining business, Amarinder told Sarkaria to explore the possibility of scientific mining in order to bring greater transparency and accountability in the bidding process.

The CM stressed the importance of cleaning up the system and streamlining the process to further augment the state’s revenue from mining, while ensuring uninterrupted supply of sand and gravel to the consumers at affordable prices.

Blurb: The chief minister also directed the department concerned to explore the possibility of setting up a mining corporation, as suggested by local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.

First Published: Jun 27, 2018 11:41 IST