Yashodhara Raje Scindia
Yashodhara Raje Scindia

BHOPAL: The state government gave a few relaxations to sand mine contractors on Tuesday. But some ministers disagreed with such reliefs. As soon as the proposal for giving reliefs to sand contractors was put up before the Cabinet, sports minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia contested it. She said there was no need to give any relaxations to contractors who earned crores of rupees. Scindia further said that they had caused a huge loss to the state exchequer through illegal mining.

As soon as she her arguments ended, agriculture minister Kamal Patel said dumpers overloaded with sand were running across the state damaging the roads. A policy should be made to stop it, Patel said, adding that sand contractors were looting the state.

Energy minister Pradyumna Singh Tomar raised the issue of illegal mining. Tomar said that the officials trying to stop illegal mining were being attacked and it should be stopped at all costs.

Minister for public works department Gopal Bhargava said that sand contractors did not deposit royalty worth crores of rupees which should be taken from them.

The department of mines said that sand contractors had incurred huge losses because of the corona pandemic. Twenty-three contractors wanted to surrender the contracts.

As the ministers began to oppose, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said they had not been give any relief. They had only been given some more time to pay instalments, he said.

Instalments to be paid from May-September

The monthly instalments to be paid from May to September will be 50% of the total amount, which is to be paid on the first day of each month. After that, if more sand is sold than the available stock, royalty should be deposited on June 1 on the basis of pay-as-you-go policy. The amount will not be more than the monthly instalment. This formula will be implemented every month from September.

A few contracts have been signed till June 30 next year. In such cases, the belated payment will be charged from April 1, 2022, in quarterly instalments. Such payments will be divided into five equal instalments.

Those whose contracts are ending on June 30 next year can seek extension of the period of their agreements on the basis of a circular issued on May 26 last year. Such contractors can get their agreements extended till June 30, 2023. They can get it done by July 31, 2021.

Contractors who do not opt for extending their agreements have to make belated payments from January 1, 2022, in six equal monthly instalments.

According to Section 10 of the MP Sand Mining, Transportation, Storage and Trading Rule, 2019, for sand year 2021-22, 10% of annual increase will be belated without interest from July 1, 2021. It has also been made clear in the approval that 10% of annual increase will be implemented for sand year 2022-23 under the same section of the same rule of 2019 on July 1 this year.

A circular of the mineral and resources department issued on December 31 last year has been partially amended. According to the amended circular, a sand contractor may make partial payments of the monthly instalment, which will be 25%.

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