Cabinet approves amendment for mining leases

Shillong, Mar 12: In a bid to facilitate the ease of doing business, bring in uniform and affordable stamp duty on mining leases, the Meghalaya cabinet on Thursday approved the amendment to the Indian Stamp Act 1899.

The amendment will specify the rates for registration of mining leases. James Sangma, minister in-charge Taxation said that the amendment would help small time farmers who are unable to afford the high rates of stamp duty.

“In fact the high rates render their projects unviable leading to high propensity for evasion of obtaining licences and payment of mandatory duty,” Sangma said.

According to the amendment, in a case where the lease is granted for more than one year but not exceeding ten years, the rate will be Rs 1 for every Rs 100 of the average annual royalty payable calculated on the highest annual extraction of minerals as per approved by the mining plan.

And in a situation where the lease is granted for more than 10 years but not exceeding 20, the rate will be set at Rs 2 for every Rs 100 of the average annual royalty payable calculated on the highest annual extraction of minerals as per approved by the mining plan.

The rate for lease granted for more than 20 years but not exceeding 30 years and lease for 30 years not exceeding 50 is set at Rs 2 and Rs 4 for every Rs 100 of the total amount of the average annual royalty payable calculated on the highest annual extraction of minerals as per the approved mining plan.

The taxation minister also revealed that there has been a surge of applications from miners for grant of mining leases for minor minerals namely, limestone, shale, quartz, quartzite and slate after the notification of the Meghalaya Minor Minerals Rules, 2018.

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