Bengal govt allows minor mineral mining on private land

The West Bengal government has come out with a new policy that allows private land owners to get licence to harness natural resources

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Kolkata: The West Bengal government has come out with a new policy that allows private land owners to get licence to harness natural resources. The new policy aims to overcome land acquisition hurdles for mining ‘minor minerals’ and curbing illegal excavation in the state. The policy will also help enrich government coffers with license fees and royalty, state Industry Minister Shashi Panja said addressing the CII organised Global Mining Summit 2022.

The government, she said, will offer private mining license to those holding land.

West Bengal will provide mining licences for private land

“The state cabinet has approved a policy for providing mining licences on private land. The licences will be handed over to the land owners and the onus for clearances and responsible mining will be on them. The policy will be applicable only for minor minerals. The regulations will be ready by December,” a senior state government official said.
The minimum area of private land required will be one hectare and Individuals can pool their land holdings to carry out such mining activity, the official said.

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The policy will be applicable for the mining of black stone, which is available in large quantities in the state, besides other minor minerals like limestone, china clay and quartz, the official said.

Asked the reason for allowing mining on private land instead of resorting to auctioning of land, the official said, “The state government is against forced land acquisition. This policy overcomes this hurdle very efficiently.”

The sand mining policy of the state introduced earlier has helped the government to rake in healthy revenue.

The government has started detailing the policy to the district magistrates and will soon update land officials for a smooth rollout, he said.

Birbhum, Paschim Barddhaman, Purulia, Paschim Medinipur and Bankura are among the districts where mining of minor minerals holds a lot of potential as illegal mining activity is rampant, the official said.

Panja highlighted the mining opportunity before the investors and called for investment.

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