Telangana exploring ways to stop auction of mines

The state government is planning to urge the Centre to allocate these mines to public sector units and not private companies.
Representative Image
Representative Image

HYDERABAD: After the Union minister of mines wrote a letter, asking it to auction at least six mines by June 30, the state government is exploring ways to stop the auction process.

The state government is reportedly taking the matter seriously as there is a risk of Telangana losing rights over valuable mineral wealth due to the “mistakes made by the previous government”.

The state government is planning to urge the Centre to allocate these mines to public sector units and not private companies.

Official sources said that the previous BRS government gave green signal to auction of mines in Telangana and that is the reason the Centre is forcing the state government to auction mines.

It may be mentioned here that recently the Ministry of mines wrote a letter to the state government to auction at least six out of the 11 notified mines by June 30.

“The previous government took a decision to allocate all the mines and mineral wealth in the state to private companies. Eight years ago, related files were prepared to hand over limestone and iron ore mines to private companies. In 2018, the state government took a decision to auction three limestone mines in the state. As a part of that, plans have been made for auctioning of the limestone mines located in Pasupulabodu, Saidulunama and Sultanpur of Suryapet district, which are notified by the Centre. On September 16, 2020, the then chief secretary wrote a letter to the Union ministry, giving consent for the auction,” sources said.

Responding to that letter, on December 12, 2021, the Union government gave permission to auction and lease these limestone mines. The letter also clarified that since the state government has agreed, no prior permission from the Centre is required and the auction process should continue, sources added.

If the six mines are not auctioned by the June 30 deadline, the Centre may auction these mines as per Sections 10B and 11 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, (MMDR Act).

“The Union government is controlling Telangana mines only because of a wrong decision taken by the previous state government,” sources said

“With the ulterior motive of handing over these mines to private companies, the previous government sought permission from the Centre to auction. But now the BRS leaders are politicising the issue,” they added.

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