The issue of alleged mining irregularities in Odisha echoed in Lok Sabha on Friday with Bhubaneswar BJP MP Aparjita Sarangi raising the issue and urging the State government to direct the Indian Bureau of Mines of to probe the scam involving crores of rupees.
“The State government had auctioned several iron ore mines in 2020-21. Surprisingly enough, the new leaseholders started claiming the minerals were of low quality,” the IAS officer-turned-BJP MP said.
“Iron ores having less than 55 percent ferrous content are called as low grade iron ores. These iron ores fetch very less price. In the financial year 2019-20, the percentage of low-grade iron ores in the newly auctioned mines was 0.9 percent. Within one year, the leaseholders showed this 0.9% as 27.3 %,” she said.
The MP further said, “The mines used to have high-grade iron ores for 20 to 30 years. But within one year, the percentage of low quality iron ores increased so much. In April and May 2022, this increased to 42.3 % and 58.9% respectively.”
“Consequently, average sale price reduced, bid amount reduced, district mineral funds started getting less money and the State exchequer suffered a loss to the tune of crores and public welfare programmes were badly affected,” she informed.
“In this regard, the Indian Bureau of Mines had written to the Central government to the state government, asking for an investigation. But the State government didn’t pay any heed. No inquiry has so far been initiated,” she said.
She urged the House to direct the Central government to ask report from the State government.
(Reported by Sibananda Rout fron New Delhi, OTV)