Odisha Channel Bureau Bhubaneswar, Jan 6: Odisha Government has decided to put all new non-coal mines and those pending for second and subsequent renewals to public auction through a competitive bidding process.A decision in this regard was approved by the State Cabinet on Monday.“This is a historic decision in bringing transparency in allocation of natural resources by putting an end to the hitherto monopoly system and a concrete step forward for progressive economic reforms,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has said.“Further, by these decisions, the State would gain substantially in revenue generation, which the State Government can utilise in its flagship development schemes like Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana for shelter security and other welfare schemes to benefit our poor people,” the Chief Minister said.Patnaik said that this would also facilitate the ongoing process of industrialisation through the availability of raw materials and generation of more jobs for our youth.“Odisha is the pioneering State in the country to take such a progressive and pro-people decision in the mining sector.” State Chief Secretary Gokul Pati told journalists after the Cabinet meeting that all other lessees of major minerals awaiting second and subsequent renewals would be put up for public auction along with virgin areas as well as determined and lapsed leases.The public auction route, however, would not be applicable in five cases like those leases which have already been issued grant orders and were awaiting execution of lease deed by the State Government after being approved by the Centre on the State’s recommendations, he said.Those mining leases which were awaiting the approval of the first renewal will also not be for the public auction and the mining lease that have already been granted express order for renewal will not be placed for auction, the Chief Secretary said.Mining leases granted to the State or Central PSUs would also not be put for public auction, Pati said.The mines for which the State had already recommended for the prospecting license or mining lease to the Centre would not be in the list of mines for public auction.The Cabinet decision comes at a time when many industries were facing shortage of raw materials after closure of mines that were being mined in violation of the existing laws.On the other hand, the Naveen Patnaik Government was facing strong criticism for large scale illegal mining in the State since long.The opposition parties have been alleging that the Biju Janata Dal Government headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was a party to the mega mining scam.
January 5, 2015
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