‘Lessees to face action if they fail to sign deed’

Bhubaneswar: Mines minister Prafulla Mallick today said if anyone of 26 mine leaseholders do not sign supplementary lease deeds with the State government for reopening of closed mines within the stipulated time of three months, action will be taken.

“They (leaseholders) have to pay stamp duty at collector’s office during registration. Otherwise, the State government will decide what can be done,” the minister told mediapersons.

Though the Mines department has sent a format for signing of the supplementary lease deeds to the leaseholders, none of them has turned up to ink the agreement.

East Zone Mining Association’s secretary Prabodh Mohanty said the stamp duty as per the new law will be an additional burden on the mines leaseholders.

“In 2013, an amendment was done to the Stamp Act against which the mines leaseholders had knocked the doors of the Orissa HC last year. The court had given an interim stay in the case,” said Mohanty, adding that the stamp duty should be demanded as per the existing act.

Meanwhile, source said the government has targeted to garner around Rs 1000 crore revenue from the stamp duty.

The government had approved reopening of 26 closed mines, including 18 non-captive and eight captive, following the recommendations from the inter-departmental committee on mines. The lease period of captive mines has been extended till March 31, 2030, whereas extension of lease of non-captive mines has been made till March 31, 2020 as per the MMDR (Amendment) Act.