BENGALURU: Private companies in the state will now be able to apply for licences to import sand from foreign countries and trade in the commodity within Karnataka as the state government recently notified the guidelines necessary for applicants to get a licence.
The guidelines, published in the State Gazette on December 23, list out the conditions that importers will have to meet to be able to import and subsequently sell sand to customers.The guidelines come after an amendment to the Karnataka Minor Minerals Concession rules, made last month to allow import of sand from foreign countries. While the exact figures for the demand for sand in the state are not available, data collected from cement suppliers indicated an approximate demand of around 25-26 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT).
Legal mining of sand combined with the supply of manufactured sand is not enough to meet this demand, according to officials. As a result, the price of sand has skyrocketed and is in the range of `5,000 per metric tonne. “Import of sand would help meet the demand and bring prices down. Besides this, there are obvious benefits to the environment as illegal mining will not thrive,” said Rajender Kumar Kataria, Secretary, Mines and Geology.
The State Government has recently notified the guidelines necessary for applicants to get a license to import sand from foreign countries. The guidelines list out the conditions that importers will have to meet to be able to import and subsequently sell sand to customers.
Speaking about the conditions that the Government would impose on the import, Rajender Kumar Kataria, Secretary, Mines and Geology, said that the companies who apply for a license to import sand should have a valid agreement for the import of sand from the country where it would be mined. “They can have a direct agreement with the foreign government to extract sand or an agreement with a company from that country,” he said.
Other conditions include tests on the quality of sand that will be imported as well as rules on how the sand must be packaged for sale. “The imported sand can be sold only in bags of 50 to 100 kilos or large size jumbo bags,” the rules state.