Photo source: Newsclick (Kamran Yousuf)

Srinagar: In a first, the government of Jammu and Kashmir has asked the Department of Geology and Mining to secure environmental and other official clearances for mining projects on behalf of the panchayats while amending rules to grant mining permission to them.

In an official notification on Tuesday, the J&K Industries and Commerce Department made amendments in the ‘Jammu and Kashmir Minor Mineral Concession, Storage, Transportation of Minerals and Prevention of Illegal Mining Rules 2016’.

It added a few clauses in the sub-rule (1) of rule 56.

“Notwithstanding anything contained in this rule, Short Term Permit up to 01 hectare shall be granted to the Panchayati Raj Institutions subject to the following terms and conditions:

  1. Requirement of Payment of advance royalty shall be exempted for Panchayati Raj Institutions.
  2. The Government may allow the Department of Geology & Mining to apply and secure clearance like Mining Plans, Environmental Clearance, and Consent to Operate, from the Competent Authorities on behalf of the Panchayats to be transferred to them later on.”

The provision, the notification added, shall be applicable till September 30, 2021 or till such period as may be notified by the government.

The amendments to the rules were cleared last month by the Administrative Council meeting chaired by the then Lieutenant Governor, G C Murmu.

The decision, the government then said, was aimed at “empowering PRIs to raise funds through mining surpluses and address shortage of key construction material in local market, besides keeping a check on their prices.”

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