Odisha Mining Scam: Why Odisha Government silent on penalty of Rs 6000 Crore?

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By Anurjay Dhal

BHUBANESWAR: A sum of Rs 6000 crore is yet back to State Exchequer. Illegal mining in Odisha between 2000-01 and 2010-11 has resulted Rs 60,000 crore scam in the State, which is still under Supreme Court’s scanner but no one looking for rest fine of Rs 6000 crore on illegal mine owners.

Many illegal mining companies are facing a penalty of ₹21,391.85 crore. After the Supreme Court ruling, the Naveen Patnaik led Government in Odisha till date has collected ₹15,326.63 crore, against the ₹21,391.85 crore.

Illegal mine owners are facing penalty for violation of the Environment Protection Act, the Forest Conservation Act, and for illegal extraction.

It may be noted here that Justice MB Shah Commission had reported a loss of ₹60,000 crore to the State exchequer for illegal mining in Odisha.

The Apex Court had had ordered under scanner mining companies to pay penalty over ₹21,000 crore, defaulters were yet to deposit more than ₹6,000 crore.

As on January 31, Sarada Mines Private Limited, which was taken over by the Congress leader Naveen Jindal led Jidnal Steel and Power Ltd,  had not paid penalty to the tune of ₹1,938 crore, while troubled MESCO Steel of New Delhi based Rita Singh was to pay ₹924 crore.

Among some big names which were yet to comply with the Supreme Court order are BPME Limited (₹636 crore, Odisha’s B.K. Mohanty facing ₹384 crore, Kolkata’s Mala Roy and others to pay ₹224 crore and Odisha’s S. Pradhan ₹123 crore.

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