Mines Dept. collects Seigniorage by weight and not by value

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Minister of Mines and Geology, Fr. Ramachandra Reddy, announced the government’s decision to change the mine seigniorage system from value to weight and to provide free coupons for sand to the Jagananna Colony Project.

In addition, the government has decided to award smaller mineral leases via the e-auction route.

At a review meeting of the Department of Mining and Geology on Wednesday, Ramachandra Reddy said there would be more emphasis on curbing illegal mining and accurately weighing vehicles, which would increase revenue by up to 20%.

Also, given the complexity of monitoring the excavations (checking illegal mining and illegal transport), the department concluded that it could focus on the regulatory part by entrusting the collection of seigniorage to outsourced agencies at the district level.

“This model is being followed in Rajasthan and some other states and applies to all smaller minerals,” he said.

The total steps should increase the seigniorage by up to 40%. Seigniorage revenues in FY2020-21 were 1,643 billion yen.

The minister insisted that the weight base of the seigniorage rating was a more accurate method of calculating fees than the value standard. Surveillance cameras were installed on the weighbridges to monitor the weighing process while the officers were on duty.

Mr Ramachandra Reddy said the smaller minerals e-auction would likely raise 476 billion yen for the treasury this year.

The department has already received 2,694 requests to mine smaller minerals on 21,577 hectares.

To date, Jai Prakash Ventures has extracted 16 lakh tons of sand and sold 9.28 lakh tons and stocked 6.72 lakh tons for the monsoon season.

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