Panel submits report on 11 closed mines

Bhubaneswar: The Inter-Departmental Committee on Mines headed by development commissioner U.N. Behera, which held a meeting at the Secretariat here to discuss the feasibility of reopening 11 mines in the State today, has submitted its report to the State government.

The meeting, which discussed about each mine, its present status, reasons behind its closure, has not recommended for reopening of any of the mines.

Mines director Deepak Mohanty told mediapersons after the meeting that the 11 mines are non-captive and have not got statutory clearance.

Meanwhile, reopening of 26 closed mines has faced a hurdle as mine owners are reluctant to pay big amount on account of stamp duty and registration fee to the Revenue department for signing of supplementary lease deed.

East Zone Miners Association secretary Prabodh Mohanty said, “Mine leaseholders will have to pay around Rs 22-26 crore as stamp duty for per million tonne of extraction and this will be heavy load for the industry. Paying upfront of such big amount will be economically suicidal for the leaseholders.”

Notably, the committee had recommended the government to reopen 26 mines that were closed earlier on account of various reasons. On April 18, the proposal was accepted and these mine leaseholders were asked by the government to sign supplementary lease deed with it within three months.