Karnataka seeks more time to e-auction iron, manganese ores

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New Delhi | Published: May 3, 2016 5:45:00 AM

The Karnataka government on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking extension of time till June-end to complete the e-auction process for sale of iron and manganese ores in the state.

The Karnataka government on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking extension of time till June-end to complete the e-auction process for sale of iron and manganese ores in the state.

Citing unexpected reasons which stalled auctions of the 15 category ‘C’ mines, it submitted that it went ahead “with complete sincerity to implement the apex court’s 2013 order,” but it needed more time to implement it. “The state is yet to resolve the issue of stamp duty on both Mine Development and Production Agreement (MDPA) and Mining Lease Deed, and sincere efforts are being made at the highest levels for the same,” the Karnataka government said in its application.

As per the revised calendar of events, auction process is now scheduled to be done between May 2 to May 6 and the letter of intent to the preferred bidder is scheduled to be issued by May 26. “But since the matter has to be resolved through a Cabinet decision and could possibly also involve amendments to the Karnataka Stamp Act, 1957, there could be a need to further revise the calendar of events of the auction and, therefore, the state prays for time till end of June 2016 to complete the auctions and give the letter of intent to the preferred bidders,” counsel Anitha Shenoy said in the application filed on behalf of the state government.

Both the CEC and the empowered committee of the state government on auction of mines felt that such a high stamp duty will affect the bidding process risking it with non-response from bidders, it added.

The apex court in its April 2013 order had also directed Karnataka to cancel 51 C-category leases for involving in rampant illegal mining and re-allot them to end users through a transparent bidding mechanism.

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