MINING CONTRACTORS in Haryana owe the state government more than Rs 1792.77 crore, both as dues for “the operational period against operational mines” and “pre-commencement period against operational mines”.
The staggering figures came to light in a reply tabled in the House by Mines and Geology Minister Mool Chand Sharma in response to a question asked by Congress MLA from Tosham, Kiran Choudhry.
According to government records, “26 mining contracts leases have been terminated on account of non-payment of government dues since 2015. Furthermore, 5 mining contracts/ leases are lying suspended on account of non-payment of dues”.
The Congress MLA had sought information from the government on dues against mining contractors with details of penalty imposed on such defaulters.
According to government figures, in the category of “dues for the operational period”, amount that is pending under “balance contract money/dead rent for operational period” is Rs 818.34 crore, while interest levied for delay in payments is Rs 292.23 crore.
Similarly, in category of “dues for pre-commencement period against operational mines”, amount that is pending under “balance contract money/dead rent for pre-commencement period” is Rs. 389.53 crore, while the interest levied for delay in payments is Rs 292.67 crore.
In his reply, the minister also said, “Payment of government dues by the mineral concession holders (mining contractors/ lessees) is an ongoing process with the contract money/ dead rent and other applicable dues being paid in monthly installments”. Sharma added, “In case of delay/ default in payment of government dues, the same are recovered with interest as per provisions of Rule 56 (6) of the Haryana Minor Mineral Concession, Stocking, Transportation of Minerals and Prevention of Illegal Mining Rules, 2012”.
Elaborating on the action that can be taken in case of default of payment, the minister said, “In case the mineral concession holder fails to pay the outstanding dues, mining operations can be suspended under Rule 56 (7) (ii) and dispatch of minerals is stopped from the concession area. Furthermore, the contract/lease may be terminated in case the mineral concession holder fails to pay the dues despite suspension as per provisions of Rule 56 (7) (vi). Any dues outstanding after termination of the contract are recoverable as arrears of land revenue from mineral concession holders and/or sureties”.
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