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Odisha mineral licencing rule irks SMEs outside state

New Delhi, Feb 12 (KNN) Industries outside Odisha depending on minerals from the state have been facing hurdles since the last seven years as they need to get licence from the state authorities even if the quantity required is very small. The problem is particularly grave for the SMEs outside Odisha engaged in the business of mineral processing.
As the rules for licencing came in effect way back in 2007, the industry, more so, the SMEs, have been raising the issue with the state and the central government without much success.
Federation of Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME) has raised concern over the issue and has decided to approach the government for exemption of small scale traders who procure up to 10 truckloads of mineral a year from Odisha or up to an annual purchase value of around Rs 5 crore per annum from the licencing process.
The industry body further said that all producer / lessees of mineral, in any case have to maintain a complete record of buyers, any one hoodwinking the suggested exemption can be easily caught.
According to Orissa Minerals Rules, 2007, for prevention of theft, smuggling and illegal mining and regulation of possession, storage, trading and transportation,  “No person shall carry on the business of buying, possessing, storing, selling, supplying, transporting, distributing or delivering for sale or processing of minerals at any place for the purpose of sale or consumption or otherwise deal with any mineral except under and in accordance with the terms and conditions of a trading licence granted…”
“We are the users of minerals. Mineral licence should be applicable for the miners only and not the users,” said Director of Dayachand Engineering Industries, Naveen Jain from Begrajpur.
“We hardly have to buy 2-3 trucks of minerals in a year from Odisha. But since Odisha government made this mandatory for everyone including buyer, miners, seller to obtain the licence, the entire process is too tedious and has passed on the burden to the small industry,” Begrajpur based industrialist, Jain said.
Even the buyers, regardless of the quantity one is procuring, has to be there in person and go through the same process of getting the licence as the miner. The buyer also has to fulfil all the norms and finish the entire paper work, or less the buyer will not be eligible to buy the minerals from the state.
Odisha is a mineral rich state. Some of the minerals found in Odisha are chrome, iron and manganese ore which cater to the requirement of mineral based industries such as steel, sponge iron, pig iron, ferro-manganese, ferro-chrome, etc.