BHUBANESWAR: Union Mines Secretary Balvinder Kumar on Tuesday urged the State Government to execute lease deed of mines for which approvals were granted before January 12, 2015 when the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act of 2015 came into force.
Applications for grant of mining lease of about 60 iron ore mines will lapse suo motu if the State Government failed to execute lease deed in favour of project proponents before January 11, 2017.
“We discussed the progress of lease deed execution for mines where letter of intent has been issued by the State Government for grant of mining lease,” Kumar told reporters after a meeting with Chief Secretary AP Padhi.
Execution of mining lease deeds under the new law has a deadline of January 11, 2017. Operation of these mines is necessary in view of the increasing demands of raw materials from metal industries. Besides, the Government has targeted to increase mineral output by reviving operations of several mines as per the plan prepared by the Ministry. “It (delay in execution of lease deed) is a matter of concern for the Centre also,” Kumar said.
Expressing concern over the delay in disposal of mining lease applications submitted before enactment of the new MMDR Act, the Union Mines Secretary had written several letters to the State Government requesting for grant of mining lease in a time-bound manner.
Sources familiar with the development said the State Government could at best execute lease deed for 10 mines as a number of applications is pending at various departments for necessary clearances. Three mines have received all statutory clearances while another six or seven mines are expected to get all clearances in December.
The applications pending for disposal include both for merchant and captive mines.
As per the new MMDR Act, mining lease will be granted subject to fulfillment of conditions of the previous approval or the letter of intent within a period of two years from the date of commencement of the new law.
In majority cases, the mining lease applications are pending for forest and environment clearances.