Mining companies in Odisha yet to pay over ₹6,000 crore in penalties

RTI plea has revealed losses of ₹60,000 crore to the State

Despite frequent reminders, mining companies in Odisha have not paid over ₹6,000 crore in fines to the Odisha government for illegal extraction of iron and manganese ores between 2000-01 and 2010-11

The State government has so far collected ₹15,326.63 crore, against the ₹21,391.85 crore imposed on the companies for violation of the Environment Protection Act, the Forest Conservation Act, and for illegal extraction.

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“While enquiring into the multi-crore mining scam in Odisha, Justice M.B Shah Commission has detected huge irregularities, including over exploitation of mineral and causing environment pollution. The commission had reported a loss of ₹60,000 crore to the State exchequer for a number of violations made by mining companies,” said Pradip Pradhan, an activist who had obtained the information under RTI.

Mr. Pradhan said though the Supreme Court had ordered 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 had not paid penalty to the tune of ₹1,938 crore, while Mideast Integrated Steel was to pay ₹924 crore, he said.

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

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