New Delhi: In a step aimed at curbing illegal
mining, the government today said it will put in place an
online system by December which will register all mineral-
related transactions in the country.
The development comes in the wake of an alarming increase
in illegal mining in various states. The government has
recorded 24,405 cases of illegal mining in January-March 2011,
almost 30 per cent of the cases in the entire 2010.
"We are going to introduce an end-to-end accounting
system by the end of this year for all mineral transactions
including mining, selling, transportation and export by
miners, traders and exporters. This will check illegal
mining," Mines Secretary S Vijay Kumar said.
Under the online system, registration of miners, traders
and exporters of major minerals like iron ore, lime and
bauxite will be a must, Vijay Kumar, who chaired a high-level
meeting of senior Central and State government officials to
expedite mineral concessions and check illegal mining, said.
The registration will be done under the Mineral
Conservation Development Rules (MCDR) by amending it.
At present, there are not enough legal provisions for
the central intervention in illegal mining in states, but the
magnitude of the problem is so high that as many as 82,330
cases were detected in 2010, almost double the 41,578 cases
unearthed in 2009.
The Central Coordination-cum-Empowered Committee (CEC) in
its meeting today also decided that the government will use
satellite imagery to curb the menace.
States have been asked to curb illegal mining by
improving monitoring of the mineral system through empowered
committees and district level task forces and plugging
loopholes in the royalty collection system.
The committee also reviewed the position regarding
various important aspects of the mineral concession regime in
the country, and stressed the need for bringing about more
efficiency and transparency in the system.
The meeting was attended by representatives from
Ministries of Environment and Forests, Defence, Home Affairs,
Steel, Civil Aviation, Railway, Shipping, Finance. Officials
from the Indian Bureau of Mines and Geological Survey of India
also participated in the meeting.
Representatives of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa,
Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra,
Orissa, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu were also present.