The Haryana government, under fire from the opposition, suspended the mining operations of a number of defaulting mining contractors who had been granted a payment moratorium last week. The decision allowed the state’s defaulting mining contractors to resume operations.
On April 13, the Hindustan Times reported on the controversial decision to allow defaulting mining contractors to resume operations by easing payment terms. Despite the introduction of a one-time settlement scheme, these contractors owed the state government 553 crore and have failed to pay it.
Officials said that before they can resume mining operations, the defaulting mining contractors will have to pay two instalments – one concurrent and one for pending dues. They will also have to sign an affidavit promising to pay the committed amount in two or more instalments by the seventh of each month.
Officials said that if they do not pay the full amount due, plus interest, by the 15th of the month, the mining lease will be terminated without further notice.
Official data revealed that of the state’s 48 operational mines, 38 mining contractors have defaulted on government dues, and 13 have had their operations suspended. “Last week, many defaulters’ suspensions were lifted. “However, the government decided to review the situation and temporarily halt the operations of more than ten miners who had yet to begin paying their government dues,” an official said.
There are 20 mining contractors who have not been paid for more than six months, and 16 who have not been paid for three to six months. Twelve contractors have not been paid in more than three months.
Yamunanagar has the most defaulters (21), followed by Charkhi Dadri with 13 defaulters.
According to mines and geology department statistics, mineral revenue collection dropped dramatically in the 2021-22 fiscal year, from 1,020 crore in 2020-21 to 685 crore the following year (till February 11, 2022).