Jahangeer Ganaie

Govt exchequer bleeds as contractors default on mandatory royalty money in Kulgam

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Kulgam: In clear violation of norms, most departments in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district are clearing the bills of contractors without getting royalty clearance certificate from concerned departments resulting into huge loss to government exchequer.
It is pertinent to mention that SRO 105 of 2016 under rule 104-A of Jammu and Kashmir Minor Concession, Storage, Transportation of Mineral and Prevention of Illegal Mining Rules 2016 provides for obtaining royalty clearance certificate by the contractors from concerned departments.
Sources within Geology and Mining Department told ‘Kashmir Vision’ that the contractors did not submit the required royalty amount to the department in return for the materials collected from the sites of the department.
Despite the contractors defaulting on the royalty, several departments including R&B, Irrigation and Flood Control, Rural Development were clearing the bills of the contractors “without checking their royalty clearance certificate”, sources said.
“It seems contractors and these departments are hand in glove and are looting state exchequer deliberately,” added the sources.
An insider from the Geology and Mining Department said that they had written to the District Development Commissioner Kulgam over the matter asking him to direct the concerned departments not to clear bills of contractors prior to the clearance of royalty dues.
Executive Engineer PMGSY Kulgam Farooq Ahmad passed the blame to the Geology and Mining Department saying they were providing material to contractors “without any order from any department and later they blame others”.
An official in Geology and Mining Department acknowledged that due to lack of manpower, they were not able to take any action.
Outgoing DDC Kulgam Shamim Ahmed said that he had not received any communication from Geology and Mining Department in this regard.
Shamim asked the department to write to the treasuries not to clear the bills of contractors who don’t submit the royalty certificate.

Jahangeer Ganaie

Jahangeer Ganaie is a reporter and covers regional news and can be contacted [email protected]

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