The government types know how desperate the government always remains for revenues. Bright minds earn prizes, ACRs, post-retirement sine curves for suggesting measures to earn some money for the government: sell land, sell this that and that, impose this tax, that surcharge, sell those ad rights, etc., and more etc., and the end result always remains zero. But by that time bright minds have happily retired to the USA to regale their grandchildren how well they ran the government.
And so it was that some bright mind suggested that everything that is taken off earth must be declared a mineral, and the guy “mining” it must be made to pay a royalty to the government.
Will we ever calculate how much we earn from royalties on the “minor minerals”?
And that is how the “minor minerals” were born. Everything is a mineral in India now: the earth from your own field, sand, stones, etc.,
They have mandated that you must obtain permissions to mine these minerals so that you could be made to pay a royalty.
Obtaining permissions from government, well we all know what that entails. These include permissions from environmental regulators also.
And if these are from public lands, they can not be given away just like that, they need to auctioned. Auctioning may take anywhere from six months to many years.
Till then, well till then stop all construction activities, delay all infrastructure projects, delay all new factories and expansions of existing ones, And even after granting of these rights, raid the “quarries” every few months and shut them down for violating some obscure laws, or for polluting the environment.
Will we ever calculate how much we earn from royalties on the “minor minerals” and how much in direct and indirect taxes we lose because of very frequent shut down of all activities because of this boondoggle of minor minerals? How many jobs we lose, how many businesses we ruin?
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