Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh govt to outsource seigniorage fee collection of minor minerals

VIJAYAWADA: The Mines and geology department has decided to outsource the collection of seigniorage fee of all minor minerals. The government is of the view that collection of seigniorage fee through the third party agencies would increase revenue by 35-40 per cent. It is also decided to collect seigniorage fee on weight basis instead of volumetric system.

According to official data, there are 6,388 mining leases operating in the state and the officials are finding it difficult to effectively monitor mineral transportation, identify potential leakage areas and collect taxes/penalties, which is leading to loss of revenue to the state exchequer. Against such backdrop, the department mooted the idea of collecting seigniorage fee with district as a unit after allocating the responsibility to third party agencies through e-auction duly fixing a reserve price payable to the AP government.

An official of the department observed that the concept will help in using department resources in controlling illegal mining and transportation more effectively, besides ensuring revenue to the state government from the contractor in the form of advanced payment.Stating that accurate weight measurement for all vehicles will lead to an increase in revenue up to 15 per cent, the officials assert that another 15-20 per cent revenue could be increased by controlling illegal mining and transportation.

After generating a revenue of Rs 1,643 crore through seigniorage fee in 2020-21 fiscal, the government is expecting to get 40 per cent more revenue with the new policies, which was approved by Mines and Geology Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy. Meanwhile, reviewing with the officials of the Mines department on Wednesday, Peddireddy said that the government is expecting a revenue of Rs 476 crore in the current fiscal through e-auction of minor minerals. He said that as many as 2,694 applications came for leasing minor minerals across 21,577 hectares.

Informing that granite, marbles and 31 other minor minerals are identified as A category of minor minerals, all other remaining minerals as B category and sand as C category, he said leases will be cancelled where mining activities were not conducted for a long time despite getting approvals in the past and e-auction will be conducted for leasing the same.

Money matters
Rs 1,643 crore: seigniorage fee in the 2020-21 fiscal
Rs 476 crore: Expected revenue in the current fiscal through e-auction of minor minerals
2,694: Lease applications for minor minerals in 21,577 hectares

Coupons for free sand at Jagananna colonies
Stating that Jaiprakash Power Ventures Limited (JPVL) is taking up sand operations in the State from May 17 and has paid Rs 120 crore to the government as security deposit, the minister said that sand operations commenced at 136 reaches out of total 305. As on June 5, the agency excavated 21.55 lakh tonnes of sand, sold 10.75 lakh tonnes and stored 9.80 lakh metric tonnes for the monsoon. He said a total of 26.80 lakh tonnes of sand is available to meet the monsoon demand. He said coupons will be issued for giving sand at a free of cost for the construction activities in Jagananna housing layouts.