The Punjab Cabinet led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, on Thursday, decided to amend Sand and Gravel Mining Policy, 2021 “in order to make construction material available to consumers at affordable prices”.
Disclosing this, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said the initiative will rationalise the sand and gravel policy of the state with a view to give relief to consumers on one hand and generate more revenue for state exchequer on the other.
As per the policy, the royalty of Rs 2.40 per cubic feet will be the same as earlier. Revenue collected under the information and technology and weighbridge 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 tariff, the department will prepare a mobile app connecting transporters and consumers and the rates will be fixed by the department of transport, the spokesperson said.
In place of the earlier practice of issuing K-2 permits, a surcharge of Rs Five per square feet will be charged by the authority approving the building plans where construction of the basement is proposed and the revenue thus generated will be collected by respective local bodies and deposited 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.
In another decision, the Cabinet gave green signal to rationalise 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 five hectares or a multiple of five hectare to check illegal mining. But it will not be mandatory for every crusher to take these sites.
The entire process of sale of material at the crusher shall be monitored through an online portal. Registration fee for the crusher has been enhanced to Rs One lakh from existing Rs 10,000. Apart from this, a security of Rs Three lakh to Rs Five lakh will also be taken from the crusher units.
Mining sites measuring up to five hectares will be allotted to the crushing units so as to provide them a legal source of material.
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 spokesperson said.