Kohima, September 23 (MExN): A confusion of jurisdiction has risen over who controls “minor minerals,” including “forest royalty items,” in Nagaland State. The Government of Nagaland has set up a committee to resolve the matter.
In January this year, the Department of Geology & Mining (DGM) notified that as per the Nagaland Minor Mineral Concession Rules 2005 (NMMCR), it will regulate (and charge royalty for) the mining of minor minerals in the State. However, a “confusion of jurisdiction” has cropped up between the DGM and the Department of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (DEFCC).
An Office Memorandum signed by Lhoubeilatuo Kire, Principal Secretary to the Government of Nagaland, DEFCC, on September 22 informed that the “status quo as of today shall remain in force till the confusion over jurisdiction between the statutory acts” of the DGM and DEFCC is “resolved by the Committee constituted under the chairmanship of the Additional Chief Secretary & Development Commissioner, Nagaland.”
Thus, the DEFCC will “continue to supervise the collection of revenue and regulation of Forest Transit Passes issued over these items by Government of Assam and Manipur,” noted the memorandum.
This was issued in clarification after the DGM issued a notice on January 24, 2017, as per the NMMCR, “for regulation of all minor minerals including stones, sand etc.” but which “include forest royalty items in Rules framed under the Nagaland Forest Act 1968, Nagaland Jhumland Act 1970 and notified in compliance to the Supreme Court interim Orders in the WP (202) of 1995.”