Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Tas­neem Kausar ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

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