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Mon, 21 Jan 2019

Northeast Today

Nagaland Minor Mineral Resources Not Fully Evaluated

Nagaland Minor Mineral Resources Not Fully Evaluated
December 31
13:53 2018

NET Bureau

Nagaland is endowed with huge minor mineral resources such as sand, gravels, boulders, sandstones, limestone, marble, granite, clay, building and dimensions stones etc, which are yet to be fully explored and assessed for commercial use.


The overall minor resources such as sand stone, marbles, granite and slates assessed in the state is about 317 MMT, according to the annual administrative report of the Department of Geology & Mining Nagaland (2017-18). 


However, there was poor structure mechanism for governance to regulate small scale mining in the state, the report stated.


In view of this, the state government has framed Nagaland Minor Mineral Concession Rules 2004 under Section 17 of the Nagaland (Ownership Transfer of Land & its Resources) Act 1990, which primarily outlined the mechanism for granting of lease for various minor minerals and issues related to it.


However, the regulatory framework guiding of mineral could not be operationalized due to systematic malfunctioning of governance mechanism.

“As a result of which, the state is facing serious irregularities which includes confusing regulatory provisions, inadequate monitoring and enforcement, which in turn is causing huge revenue loss to the state exchequer,” the report stated.


The state government after realizing the adverse impact of rampant and illegal sand, boulder mining in Chathe and Dhansiri river of Dimapur district have decided to operationalize the Nagaland Minor Mineral Concession 2004 in 2017.


Accordingly, the department of geology and mining was authorized to issue license and permits and levy taxes and royalty on minor minerals.


However Environment, Forest and Climate Change Department was also collecting royalty from minor minerals in the state, the report stated.


“Therefore, the general public as well as Sand & Boulder Unions has raised issue not to levy double taxations on the same mineral by two departments,” the report stated.


In view of this, a joint meeting of Geology & Mining and Forest departments under the chairmanship of the then Chief Minister TR Zeliang was held on October 28, 2017 and authorized the department of geology and mining to implement the Nagaland Minor Mineral Concession Rules 2004.


Accordingly, the report stated that the department of geology and mining started implementing the said rules by issuing Quarry Permits/Licenses and levy royalty on minor minerals from November 2017.


So far, the department has issued 7 stone quarry permits and 15 bricks quarry permits to individuals/parties.


Although, minor minerals was handed over to geology and mining in the last part of the fiscal year 2017, the department was not having any fund to implement the said rules.


However, inspite of fund constraints, the department has set up five mineral check gates in Dimapur for collection of royalty, the report stated.


It is anticipated that, if proper infrastructure such as (construction of offices, setting up of mineral check gates ) in district level are created along with sufficient manpower then the department can generate revenue to the tune of Rs. 5-10 crores per year from minor mineral sector

 

 

 

Source: The Morung Express

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