Chandigarh: In order to make construction material available at affordable prices and to increase revenue, the Punjab Cabinet led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Thursday gave nod to amend Sand and Gravel Mining Policy of 2021.
A decision to this effect was taken at the meeting of the Council of Ministers chaired by the Chief Minister here.
A spokesperson for the Chief Minister’s Office said this initiative will rationalise the sand and gravel policy with a view to give relief to consumers on one hand and generate more revenue for the exchequer on the other.
As per this policy, the royalty of Rs 2.40 per cubic feet will be the same as earlier. Revenue collected under the Information and Technology Department and weigh bridge head, which is 10 paise per cubic feet, will be deposited in the state exchequer instead of being retained by the contractor currently.
The department will make the payment of the bills raised by the contractors at the weigh bridge as per terms of the agreement. This will facilitate the department to computerise the entire operations of weighbridge and further reduce the scope of illegal mining.
As the major burden to the consumer comes from the transportation rates, so the department will prepare a mobile App connecting transporters and consumers and the rates will be fixed by the Transport Department.
Instead of earlier practice of issuing K-2 permits, a surcharge of Rs 5 per square feet will be charged by the authority approving the building plans where construction of basement is proposed and the revenue thus generated will be collected by respective local bodies and town planning authorities and deposited it in the department.
This will not be applicable for residential houses of any size or for any other building on plot size up to 500 square yards. The royalty rate of ordinary clay and ordinary earth will be Rs 10 per tons for commercial use except brick-kilns.
In another decision, the Cabinet gave green signal to rationalise the crusher policy with a view to give relief to consumers and at the same time generate more revenue for state exchequer.
As per the new policy, the crushers will be allotted a mining site of five hectares or a multiple of five hectares to check illegal mining.
But it will not be mandatory for every crusher to take these sites. An environmental fund at the rate of Re 1 per cubic feet has been imposed on the output material of the crusher to enhance the revenue of the state exchequer by nearly Rs 225 crore.