Chandigarh, August 11 – In order to make construction material available to consumers at affordable prices, the Punjab Cabinet led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Thursday gave nod to amend Sand and Gravel Mining Policy, 2021.
A decision to this effect was taken in the meeting of the Council of Ministers chaired by the Chief Minister here at Punjab Civil Secretariat I.
Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that this initiative will rationalize the sand and Gravel Policy of state with a view to give relief to consumers on one hand and generate more revenue for state exchequer on the other. As per this policy the royalty of Rs 2.40 per cubic feet will be the same as earlier. Revenue collected under the Information & Technology and Weigh Bridge Head which is 10 paise per cubic feet, will be deposited in the state exchequer instead of being retained by the contractor currently.
The Department will make the payment of the bills raised by the contractors at the weigh bridge as per terms of the agreement. This will facilitate the Department to computerize the entire operations of Weigh Bridge and further reduce the scope of illegal mining. As the major burden to the consumer comes from the transportation rates so Department will prepare a mobile app connecting transporters and consumers and the rates will be fixed by the Department of Transport.
Instead of earlier practice of issuing K-2 permits, a surcharge of Rs. 5 per square feet will be charged by the authority approving the building plans where construction of basement is proposed and the revenue thus generated will be collected by respective local bodies/ Town Planning authorities and deposited it in the appropriate Receipt Head of the Department. This will not be applicable for residential houses of any size or for any other building on plot size up to five hundred square yards. The royalty rate of ordinary clay and ordinary earth will be Rs.10 per ton for commercial use except brick kilns.
NOD TO RATIONALIZE CRUSHER POLICY FOR GIVING
RELIEF TO CONSUMERS AND GENERATING MORE REVENUE FOR STATE
In another landmark decision, the Cabinet gave green signal to rationalize the Crusher Policy of State with a view to give relief to consumers and at the same time generate more revenue for state exchequer. As per the new policy that crushers will be allotted a mining site of 5 hectares or a multiple of 5 hectare to check illegal mining. But it will not be mandatory for every crusher to take these sites. An Environmental fund at the rate of Rs. 1 per cubic feet has been imposed on the output material of the crusher to enhance the revenue of the state exchequer by nearly Rs. 225.00 crore. It has been made mandatory that the weigh bridges with CCTV cameras shall be installed both at the mining site as well as at the crusher site to check illegal mining.
The entire process of sale of material at the crusher shall be monitored through online portal. Registration fee for the crusher has been enhanced to Rs. 1.00 lakh from existing Rs.10,000. Apart from this, a security of Rs. 3.00 lakh to Rs. 5.00 lakh will also be taken from the crusher units. Mining sites measuring up to 5 hectare will be allotted to the crushing units so as to provide them legal source of material. The allotment of these mining sites will be carried out through e-auction and as per PMMR 2013. The contracts will be allotted for a period of three years extendable up to four years provided there is material available at the site.
The crusher shall be required to file monthly returns of the material processed by them. The crusher owner will be required to pay the penalty on the material processed by them in excess of the material procured from valid sources. This penalty will be increased further in case of delay in making payment. The Policy also envisages provisions for suspension and cancellation of registration in case of violation.