Punjab eyes Rs 300-400 cr revenue from mining: Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria

Chandigarh | Punjab Mining and Geology Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria today said his department is eyeing a revenue of Rs 300 to 400 crore from mining operations.

He said the mining department would operate three to four quarries on a pilot basis. “We expect to raise a revenue to the tune of Rs 300 to 400 crore from mining operations,” Sarkaria said here today.

“Our effort will be to make sand available at Rs 1,800 per 100 cubic feet to people,” he said, adding that, setting up of a corporation for selling sand on the lines of Telangana state was still being explored. Asked about setting up a corporation for selling minor minerals in the state, Sarkaria said it will require huge investments to create the infrastructure and will take time.

“But we can run three to four quarries on pilot basis to ascertain how much expenditure will be incurred and how much revenue it can generate,” said Sarkaria.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had earlier directed the mining department to explore the possibility of setting up a mining corporation as suggested by state cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu. Sidhu, as chairman of the cabinet sub-committee constituted for the purpose of formulating a comprehensive policy on sand mining, had recommended setting up a government-run corporation for selling minor minerals.

The chief minister has already given in-principle approval to continue with progressive bidding for grant of mining contracts. Early this month, the mining operations on the river beds of Punjab were halted till September 30 in the wake of monsoon in the state.

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