Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Sending out a clear message to defaulting mining leaseholders who are yet to pay the penalty for excess and illegal mining, the State Government today said that it will initiate certificate case and confiscate properties of errant leaseholders if they fail to pay their dues.

Briefing mediapersons, Minister of Mines, Prafulla Mallick said as many as 56 mining leaseholders mostly which are non-operational are yet to pay Rs 7,689 crore penalty for illegal mining according to the August 2017 directive of the Supreme Court.

“Proceedings under Odisha Public Demands Recovery Act will be initiated and their properties will be attached for recovery of the penalty,” Mallick said.

“A committee headed by district collector & revenue officials will initiate the proceedings to collect the penalties as per the guidelines of the apex court,” said the minister.

In August 2017, the Supreme Court had directed the leaseholders to pay 100 per cent penalty within December 31, 2017 for excess and illegal mining following which the State Government issued notices to 131 mining leaseholders.

The State Government had collected over Rs 10,000 crore as penalty from defaulting mining firms operating without necessary clearances against a total of Rs 17,576 crore.

After the completion of the deadline, the apex court had directed the Odisha government to collect penalties with 12-per cent interest from the defaulters.