Non-levy of penalty on mining lessees led to Rs 99.51-cr loss

Non-levy of penalty on mining lessees led to Rs 99.51-cr loss

Non-levy of penalty on mining lessees led to Rs 99.51-cr loss

The State Exchequer has suffer­e­d a loss of Rs 99.51 crore on account of penalty not being levied on mining les­sees who transported lime shell and building stones.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on revenue sector for the year ending March 2014 has noted that four Deputy Directors and two Senior Geologists had not levied penalties on the mining lessees for illegally transporting the lime shell and building blocks for the years 2011-12 and 2012-13. The CAG has said that of the total 83.37 lakh MT of building stone and 20,698 MT of lime shell, only 17.15 lakh MT of building stone was transported after obtaining Mineral Despatch Permit (MDP).

The CAG has reported that the officers concerned had “not levied” penalty as per the terms of the quarry lease deed for transporting of building stone and lime shell without obtaining MDPs. “The remaining 66.22 lakh MT of building stone and 5,478 MT of lime shell were transported without obtaining MDPs. The non-levy of penalty worked out to Rs 99.51 crore,”  said the report.

The Deputy Director of the Department of Mines and Geology, Belagavi, and senior geologist of Bidar justified the non-levying of the penalty by stating that Rule-42 of the Karnataka Minor Mineral Concession Act was not applicable in respect of non-specified minor mineral. The CAG has rejected the justification of the two officials, and is still awaiting the response of the Mines Department. The non-levying of the penalty was brought to the notice of the department in December 2013 and again in April 2014. It was referred to the government in July 2014, but to no avail.

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