New rules in R'than to restrict govt role in mine allotment

In an initiative towards ensuring transparency, Rajasthan has brought in a new rule which will restrict state government’s role in the allocation of mines in the state.

Announcing this in the Assembly on Friday, chief minister Ashok Gehlot said it has been decided to abolish Rule 65 of ‘Rajasthan Minor Mineral Concession Rules’, which confers power to the government to relax any provision related to the allotment.

The allotment will now be made strictly on the basis on the new mining policy of 2012, under which 50 per cent allotment will be made for reserved category and remaining through an open bidding process, Gehlot added.

The 50 per cent quota for reserved category has been designed in such a manner that all sections can avail benefits. The decision came in the backdrop of BJP’s allegations earlier this month that Gehlot was complicit in a mining scam in which irregular allotment of 39 mines, mostly to his relatives, took place and demanded his resignation.

The BJP had also been seeking a probe against the chief minister after a media report alleged that some of his relatives were favoured in mines allotment in Jodhpur.
Rubbishing BJP’s charges, he said the allotment process of the mines, which were reported to have been leased out to his relatives was stopped on December 29 last year after some locals apprised him of certain grievances.

The chief minister also said the state’s new mining policy has been appreciated by the empowered committee of the Supreme Court, Rajasthan High Court and the central mines secretary.

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