Single-window agency to clear mining proposals

In a bid to help those wishing to enter mining business in Karnataka, the Mines and Geology Department will set up a single-window agency to clear mining proposals quickly. Besides, the department will send the cleared proposals to nationalised banks for purposes of loans.

The decision to set up two single windows — one at the district level and another at the State level — was taken at a meeting of officials and stakeholders chaired by Mining and Geology Minister Murugesh Nirani recently.

“Our government wants to infuse confidence among investors. We want the departments to go to their doorstep rather than they waiting for permission for years. The only solution to reduce the harassment faced by investors to get permits from departments is to establish a single-window agency under the department,” the Minister said in a statement.

If investments are below ₹5 crore, the agency headed by the Deputy Commissioner will clear the applications and for projects worth more than ₹5 crore, a panel headed by the Mining and Geology Minister will approve the proposals. The single- window clearance system is in practice in the Industries and Commerce Department, according to the statement.

Currently, investors in minor minerals sector such as sand, stone, and granite have to go through four departments to secure no-objection certificates to commence mining activity. The NoC has to be secured from Revenue Department, Forest Department, and the pollution control board before final approval from the Directorate of Mines and Geology Department.

In case of patta land (private land coming through ancestral property), one has to get the NoC from the tashlidar.

“Irrespective of type of land (forest or patta) and type of mineral, an investor has to get an environmental clearance certificate. If the project is less than 25 hectares, clearance is required from the State pollution control board and for those above 25 hectares, clearance is required from the Central board,” the Minister said.

Further, projects approved through single-window clearance committees will be sent to various nationalised banks. “Routing the approved applications to banks through the government will allow banks to come forward to grants loans to the investors,” he said.

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