State Cabinet approves bulk sale of Malaysian sand

State Cabinet approves bulk sale of Malaysian sand

In a bid to ramp up sales of Malaysian sand, which has had no takers, the state Cabinet on Thursday decided to allow sale of sand in bulk (truckloads), as opposed to sandbags.

This is said to bring down the prices of the imported sand by around Rs 300 per tonne. Presently, Mysore Sales International Ltd (MSIL) is selling Malaysian sand at Rs 200 per 50 kg bag (Rs 4,000 per tonne).

In addition to MSIL, three companies - Akar Enterprises, D2S Company, Integrated Solutions - had obtained permissions to import sand from Malaysia and sell it within the state.

The companies had imported 1.5 lakh tonne (50,000 tonne each) in the month of January this year, but had refused to lift and sell the raw material. Arguing that the sale of sand in bags was not viable, they had sought revisions to the guidelines.

While there is no packing unit in Mangaluru, the companies had said that packing (bag) cost of Rs 200 per tonne could be avoided, if sand is allowed to be sold in bulk.

The government which had brought in a new policy by amending the Karnataka Minor Minerals Concession Rules, 1994, to allow traders to import sand from Malaysia, had mandated that sand could be sold only in 50 kg bags.

The idea was to curb adulteration of the imported sand with substandard sand.

The government has finally yielded to the demands of the traders by allowing sale of sand in bulk. This imported sand will, however, be transported in GPS enabled trucks.

The government has also decided to allow traders to sell future stocks of imported sand outside Karnataka. However, the present stock has to be sold within the state.

In the meanwhile, MSIL, which had imported around one lakh tonnes of sand from Malaysia, has been able to sell only 4,000 tonnes in the last 9 months.

MSIL had imported sand from Malaysian through the Krishnapatnam port in Andhra Pradesh. Imported sand is said to be around Rs 2,500 lesser than sand extracted in Karnataka.

The government resorted to importing sand to reduce the demand-supply gap and also to curb illegal sand mining.

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