Punjab Mining and Geology Minister Mr. Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria today said that Punjab has earned record Rs 274.75 crore from e-auction of six Clusters of mines.
Notably, Punjab has been divided in seven clusters and the auction of Mohali cluster is still pending.
Interacting with the media personnel, the Minister hailed the auction. He said that the department has achieved 90 per cent target in earning revenue and this amount is the highest ever earnings for the state government from the mining business. Mr. Sarkaria said that Punjab Government is expecting to earn over Rs. 300 crore annually from the mines.
Giving details, the Minister said that e auction of Ropar cluster earned Rs 49.84 crore, SBS Nagar-Ludhiana-Jalandhar cluster fetched Rs 59.02 crore, Ferozepur-Moga-Faridkot cluster obtained Rs 40.30 crore, Hoshiarpur-Gurdaspur Cluster earned Rs 29.01 crore, Amritsar-Tarn Taran-Kapurthala Cluster got Rs 34.40 crore and Pathankot Cluster earned Rs 62.18 crore. Those Clusters apparently fetched more revenue, which have excessive minerals-sand and gravels.
An official spokesperson said that the trivial amount received in past years shows the extent to which the sand mafia was controlling the business and causing huge losses to the state exchequer.
He said that the release of surplus sand into the market will lead to easing of pressure, thus earning huge revenue for the state government, which will eventually lead to significant lowering of sand prices. It is pertinent to mention that under the new mining policy contractors have been barred to sell the material over Rs 900 per 100 square ft.