MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Madras High Court allows import of sand from Malaysia

Justice R Mahadevan.
Justice R Mahadevan.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Madras High Court on Wednesday ruled that it was all right to import sand from Malaysia.
Justice R Mahadevan said Tamil Nadu state rules did not have a provision to deal with sand imported from foreign countries.
He said he was allowing the import of sand in the “larger public interest to protect the environment, river beds and river bodies and agriculture for the future generation of the state”.
Mahadevan noted that the cost of imported sand was only 1/3rd of the cost of sand mined locally.
He also directed the Indian government to issue appropriate guidelines so as to enable importers to get the necessary certificates from the export authorities in other countries, The Hindu reported.
In addition, Mahadevan directed the Tamil Nadu state government to stop sand mining within six months and to ensure quarries of granite and other minerals, except jelly, are closed periodically to maintain ecological balance.
The court made the ruling, and gave these directions, in a case involving M R M Ramaiya Enterprises which had imported sand from Malaysia.
The Hindu reported that the lorries hired for transporting the sand had been seized by police at the Thoothukudi Port.
The company went to court, saying it had legally imported the sand from Malaysia and that it had paid the goods and services tax on the consignment. It claimed it had also obtained the necessary certificates.
M R M Ramaiya Enterprises said when it wanted to sell the sand in the state, the state government did not permit it.
According to a report in the Times of India, the company had earlier claimed it had entered into an agreement with All Works Trading Limited, Singapore, on Sept 9, to import 100,000 tonnes of sand.
Subsequently, it imported 55,443 tonnes of sand which originated from the Sungai Pahang, Malaysia.
The company sought an order that the Tamil Nadu government should not insist that the company get a licence and transport slip to transport and sell the imported sand in the state.
The government had contended that there were no valid permits on the consignment, according to The Hindu. The state had also argued that what had been imported was not natural sand but silica and that this was unfit for construction purposes.
The court said the Tamil Nadu Minor Minerals Concession Rules, 1959, and the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Illegal Mining, Transportation and Storage of Minerals and Mineral Dealers Rules, 2011, could not be imposed on imported sand since the importer had paid the appropriate tax (GST) on the consignment.
The court also directed the state government to take appropriate action against those involved in illegal mining, The Hindu reported. -FMT

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