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Illegal mining: BJP to move court to ensure full penalty from lessees

Bhubaneswar: Alleging unholy nexus between the Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government and mining companies, the State unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today said the party will seek the help of court to ensure recovery of 100% penalty from errant companies.

Speaking at a press meet here at the party headquarters, general secretary of BJP Bhrugu Baxipatra said even though the Supreme Court (SC) had found the mining companies in the State being involved in illegal extraction of huge quantities of iron ore and manganese ore and called for the recovery of 100 per cent penalty, BJD is trying to bypass the order.

“The SC, in its judgement, ordered for 100 per cent recovery from the mining companies in lieu of the excess ore extracted. The State government had to recover Rs 59,000 crore but its decision on August 8 to issue notices in 10 days to the firms to collect a penalty of mere Rs 17000 crore has exposed the close link between the BJD government, bureaucrats and mining companies,” said Baxipatra.

“Our assessment is still on. An assessment of the violation by the mining firms by extracting ore above the permissible limit will be done soon. We will assess the Forest Act violation by the companies. Around Rs 2000 crore is expected to be recovered from the companies,” said Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick.

Also Read: Illegal mining: Odisha expects to collect Rs 20,000 crore as penalty

Earlier in 2012, the State government had sent demand note to over 100 mining companies asking them to pay around Rs 59,000 crore for excess mining between 2000 and 2010.

However, on Tuesday, chief secretary Aditya Padhi said the centrally empowered committee (CEC) of SC assessed Rs 17,576.16 crore of excess mining by the companies during the period.

The SC also agreed with the assessment report of CEC. So there must not be any confusion regarding the recovery amount, added Padhi.

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