Seven mining firms told to pay stamp duty for lease renewal


The government has asked seven mining companies to pay up stamp duty for renewal of their leases by February 28, since government claims that they do not require forest clearance for operation.
The seven are among 337 mines whose leases expired on November 21, 2007 and the process for renewing these has been started by the government. 
Six more proposals are in the pipeline and have been forwarded to State government by Directorate of Mines and Geology, for its approval.
"In order to facilitate execution of mining lease deed, you (mining companies) are hereby directed to make payment of stamp duty of mining lease deed on or before February 28, and produce such stamp paper or papers in which stamp duty is paid so as to facilitate this office in execution of lease deed without any further delay," the order signed by director of mines Prasanna Acharya reads.
Acharya said  that the present government is of the opinion that no mining operations should have been allowed to be undertaken and carried out merely on the basis of deemed extension for a period of more than five years.
“Without prejudice to the government's powers to take penal and other action in this regard, government has agreed in principle to renew the mining lease for a period of 20 years,” the director stated.
As per the Indian Stamp (Goa amendment) Act 2012, notified in December 2012, it is mandatory for the mine owners to pay 15 per cent of the royalty amount for next 20 years while renewing  their lease. [H]