Telangana state government is likely to liberalise mining approval norms with an aim of earning Rs 2,200 crore this year from the mining sector. At present, only district collectors are authorised to issue “no objection certificates” for granting mining licences. The government is now planning to accord the powers even to lower-level officials like RDOs and MROs at respective revenue and mandal limits to ensure speedy approvals.
Large number of applications are pending with collectors now who are hardly finding time to concentrate on mining approvals. Due to large scale irregularities in mining approvals in unified Andhra Pradesh resulting in CBI cases against ministers and IAS officials in OMC mining issue, then Kiran Kumar Reddy’s government had tightened norms and accorded powers only to collectors. Due to this, the mining department which used to issue hundreds of prospecting and mining leases every year between 2004 and 2010, stopped granting approvals as hardly NoCs were issued by collectors between 2010 and 2014.