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Odisha grants 50 years mining lease in favour of 15 firms

Wed, 11th Jan 2017 (Source:Times of India)

The state government has executed lease deeds in favour of at least 15 firms including state-owned Odisha Mining Corporation for allocation of mining blocks for 50 years.

These 15 firms are among the 60 developers against whom the letters of intent were issued by the Centre for grant of mining lease before implementation of the New Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Act-2015. According to the Act, lease deeds should be executed by January 11 following which the applications would be lapsed.

The allocated blocks include graphite, gem stone, bauxite, cat's eye, granite, quartz, iron ore and manganese.

Pradhan Industries, B K Bansal, Bajrangilal Gupta, OMC, Sanjukta Jain, Bharat Precious Stone, Om Prakash Jain, B K Bansal, Manikeswari Minerals, Prakash Industries, K C Pradhan, Balasore Alloys, Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited, Rudrasen Sindhu, Sree Metaliks Limited and National Enterprises are the 15 firms who got mining lease for 50 years.

Applications for grant of mining lease of the remaining 43 blocks are likely to be lapsed as they could not sign the lease deed with the state government due to lack of required statutory clearances. Majority of the applications lack forest and environment clearance.

"We can't say about fate of the remaining blocks as some of the applicants have moved to the courts. We will wait for the court to pronounce its verdicts before taking any call on these blocks," said a senior officer in the state mining department.

Union mines secretary Balvinder Kumar during his meeting with chief secretary A P Padhi in November had asked the state government to initiate action for executing lease deeds with the project approvals in view of the growing demand of ore (raw material) by mineral-based industries. He had also sent a series of letters to the chief secretary in this regard.

The execution of the lease deeds with the developer was also crucial in view of the sharp fall in collection of mining revenue during the current financial year.

Earning from mining sector is estimated at around Rs 2,900 crore (up to December) as compared to the previous year's collection of Rs 3,700 crore, sources in the steel and mines department said.

If the trend is any indication, it would be difficult for the state government to achieve its target of collecting mining revenue to the tune of Rs 6,700 crore by the year-end (March, 2017).



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