QUARRY OWNERS OPPOSE STATE’S DECISION TO HIKE ROYALTY BY 100%
PANVEL: Quarry owners have opposed the state’s decision to hike the royalty by 100% saying the hike will lead to increase in cost of houses and other government projects.
The Rajya Khan Va Crusher Mahasangh, a federation of quarry and crusher industry, raise the issue along with other demands of the industry a press conference in Panvel on Wednesday.
“The state government has increased the royalty from Rs200 a Brass to Rs400 a Brass. This will increase the cost of construction material that the quarries generate,” said Balasaheb Chavan, president of the federation.
“Constructions by the government, semi-government and private developers will become costlier and the common man’s hopes for a home will become a distant dream,” said Chavan. “There are plans at the state level to levy an additional surcharge in the name of minerals development fund. Already the royalty in Maharashtra is on the higher side when compared to other states and adding further surcharge will be catastrophic for us.”
The federation has appealed to the state government to increase royalty by 10% every three years. It has also demanded that noobjection certificates ( NOC) from the gram panchayat and pollution control board should be required only once.
Among other demands, the federation has said the lease on properties should be for a period of 20 years. It also said that for construction of national and state highways and government works, at least 50% of the raw materials should be taken from the quarries of that particular district.
The federation also demanded that the use of artificial sand manufactured by the small-scale crusher owners be made mandatory to prevent the destruction of environment.
“Just as value- added tax is shown separately in the bill, royalty payment should be mentioned separately. This will put a stop on thefts,” said Chavan.