The Punjab Cabinet approved fresh mine auctions through progressive e-bidding to bring greater transparency in the mine's business. The move will not only boost the state revenue multifold but will also destroy the sand mafia in the state. Golden Sand is the new gold as far as Punjab is concerned and during the previous SAD-BJP regime, the mining business had been cartelized.
The decision, which will bring to an end the earlier practice of granting contracts of mines through a reverse bidding process, seeks to fulfil Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s poll promise to destroy the sand mafia in the state. According to the official spokesperson, the decision will also increase the revenue of the government to around Rs.300 crores. It will also ensure uninterrupted supply of sand and bajri to the consumers at a fair price.
It was also decided at the cabinet meeting that the state government would soon implement the Integrated Mines and Minerals Management System (i3MS) to bring greater transparency into the system. The state government is already working on a new mining policy, which is expected to be formulated by the end of the month. Captain had already issued strict instructions to the concerned departments to curb illegal mining.
As per data shared by the concerned departments, as many as 59 mines are ready for auction and in these, production can commence by May 20, with another 58 pending environmental clearance and expected to become operational by mid-August.