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449 mines are not operational in Odisha - Steel and Mines Minister
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Monday, 16 Jun 2014

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Nearly 449 mines are not operational in the State while mining leases in respect of 307 mines have already expired. This was informed by the Steel and Mines minister Mr Prafulla Kuamr Mallick in the State Assembly on Friday.

Mr Mallick said that out of the total 601 mining leases issued to lift different minerals deposited in the State, the time limits of 307 mines have already expired.

Replying to a question of Congress member M rNaba Kishore Das, the minister said that 307 leases which have expired include 128 iron ore and manganese mines and 179 other mines.

Stating that the application for renewal of the mining leases are at different stages of consideration, he said that while 16 of the applicants who applied for renewal of their mining leases have set up their own units in the State, the rest have no industrial units of their own. To a separate question, Mr adding that out of the 601 mines only 107 are operating as per the five-year mining scheme.

He said that various individuals and mining companies have applied for mining leases and prospective licences for the surplus minerals. The Government is considering these applications keeping in view the various rules and the directions of courts.

He added that the State Government has written to the Union Government 19 times for increasing the royalties both non-coal minerals and coal between December 2000 and March, 2014. But the Centre has not hiked the rates of royalty in respect of non-coal minerals since 2009 and the rate of coal royalty since 2012.

He further added that the Central Government had hiked the rates of royalty for non-coal minerals in 2000, October 2004 and August 2009.

Similarly, the Centre also increased the coal royalty in August 2002, August 2007 and May 2012.

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