The Union Ministry of Mines has recently written to many State Secretaries of Mines, including Goa, expressing unhappiness over their failure to submit quarterly reports on the status of various applications for lease/licence, and renewals and asked them to undertake special drives for minimising the pendency of applications.
These include concession applications pending with the State Governments, lease/licence execution, and renewal applications.
According to a letter of November 15, the pendency was high in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Tamil Nadu.
The Union Ministry letter has referred to a series of letters and reminders sent by the Ministry seeking quarterly reports on the subject mentioned above. It said that Secretary (Mines) had written to the Chief Secretaries of all the States in this regard.
Pointing out that the Ministry had been laying emphasis on the need for timely submission of the quarterly reports by the State governments; it noted that this had been one of the important points discussed in all the meetings of the Central Coordination cum Empowered Committees (CEC).
“However, it is seen that most States are still not sending quarterly reports to the Ministry within the prescribed timeframe,” it noted and added that apart from the delay, it was seen from the reports received from the State governments that there was huge pendency of mineral concession and renewal of applications. It noticed that the pace of disposal of cases had been tardy.
It has asked the State governments to accord importance to the matter and take action and to adhere to the timeframe prescribed under various rules and regulations.
It asked the States to ensure that all their records regarding mineral concession and renewal applications were maintained properly and updated regularly, to put up the status of concession cases before the SEC on a quarterly basis for review and expeditious disposal, and adhere to the timelines prescribed by the Ministry for submission of reports — within a month of the close of the quarter. Asked for his reaction to the Ministry's letter, a senior official of Goa Mines and Geology Department said they had been working overtime to wipe out the backlog as pointed out by the letter and had been working towards streamlining all the aspects as pointed out.
Goa had 90 active mining leases of iron ore. Last year 55 million tones of iron ore was exported from the State.