Chandigarh, Aug 8: With an aim to crack down on illegal mining and tax evasion by miners, Punjab Mining and Geology Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria on Thursday ordered registration of cases against those indulging in illegal practices.
The Minister said that Mining department had received reports of illegal mining from some parts of the state, which had led to heavy losses for the state exchequer and needed to be checked on priority.
Directing the department officials to take strict action against the illegal miners, he also warned that strict action would also be taken against those land owners whose land is being illegally mined. The recovery will be made according to the extent to which the sand has been extracted and no political interference would be tolerated in the matter.
Mr Sarkaria said out of the total seven mining clusters in Punjab, six clusters have been auctioned and the state government was fully committed to providing sand to the people at reasonable price.
To prevent the sand prices to soar, he said, under the new mining policy contractors have been barred to sell the sand over Rs 900 per 100 sq ft. It is pertinent to mention that Punjab government has earned record Rs 274.75 crore from the e-auction of six clusters of mines and the Mohali cluster is yet to be auctioned. The state government has set a target to earn over Rs 300 crore annually from the mines, he added. (UNI)