Mines minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy. (Photo: Facebook)
VIJAYAWADA: Mines minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy, who also holds portfolios of energy, forests, environment, science and technology, has directed officials to take all necessary steps to increase mineral-based revenue for the government. He wanted e-auction system to be fast-tracked to ensure maximum transparency in bidding for mining leases, thereby enhancing revenue.
Presiding over a review meeting with officials on mining leases on Wednesday, Ramachandra Reddy said several reforms have already been brought into the mines department as per directions of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. As part of it, the department has started the process of issuing mining permits through e-auctions, which is attracting many enthusiasts to the mining sector.
However, the minister underlined that persons getting mining leases are failing to promptly start mining activity due to delay in getting environmental and forest clearances. He instructed officials to concentrate on expediting such permissions, so that mining activities start and revenue starts flowing into the government treasury.
Ramachandra Reddy said there are 5,146 mineral mining leases across the state. Of these, 2,276 leases have received approvals. Of 277 other leases, 133 leases are likely to be approved. There are issues with regard to other mining leases. The minister asked officials to resume mining in the remaining areas, so that revenues could be mobilised. He instructed that liaison officers be appointed for the purpose.
The minister asked forest department to inform them about any issues like allocation of alternate lands for greenery for allowing mining in certain tracts. Further, he wanted officials to take action against those dumping waste from quarries in forest lands. He maintained that actions disrupting environment will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
The meeting was attended by special chief secretary Neerab Kumar Prasad, principal secretary Gopalakrishna Dwivedi, State Environment Impact Assessment Authority chairman Venkatrama Reddy, principal chief conservator of forests Prateep Kumar, director of mines and geology V.G. Venkata Reddy and others.