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Panel pulls up mines ministry

New Delhi, Aug. 24 (PTI): A parliamentary panel has slammed the mines ministry for its inability to ensure timely disposal of mining lease applications that can hamper mineral exploration in the country.

“The committee feels that the ministry cannot absolve itself of the responsibilities of timely disposal of mining lease applications under the pretext that the issue is being reviewed by the high-level committee of the Planning Commission,” the parliamentary standing committee on coal and steel said in its latest report.

The panel noted that 204 applications for the grant of mining leases were pending with state governments of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh as on March 31 last year. The figure may go up with the availability of information from other states, the report said.

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