Odisha collects Rs 8200 crore penalty from mining lessees

BHUBANESWAR: The state government could only collect around Rs 8,200 crore as penalty from the against the demand of Rs 17,576 crore.
Sunday is the deadline to collect the penalty imposed by the against 152 iron ore and manganese lessees for illegal mining.
The penalty was imposed by the apex court on August 2, as mining operation, in these blocks, was carried out without forest and environment clearances, beyond permitted area and in excess of what had been allowed.

The court had asked the state government to recover the amount by December 31. The state government has issued demand notices to the leaseholders accordingly. It had warned to suspend mining operation if they would fail to submit the amount.

Though the state government is yet to come out with official figure regarding recovery of collection of penalty, figures collected from various mining circles stated that highest 4318 crore has been collected against demand of Rs 12,222 crore under Joda circle till the last reports came in.

Similarly, 2450 crore has been recovered under Koira circle against demand of Rs 3395 crore. While around Rs 561 crore has been recovered against the demand of 843 crore under Keonjhar circle, Rs 119 crore has been collected under . The Jajpur Road circle collected full 749 crore, said an official source.

According to sources, the state steel and mines department would come up with official figure on Monday regarding collection of mining revenue on Monday.

Mining operations would be suspended on Monday as some of the lease holders of some of the working blocks have failed to pay the penalty imposed on them, said an official source.

As recovery of the penalty was done according to the apex court order, the state government is expected to file a status report in the court by January 4. Further action against the defaulters would follow according to the court order, said steel and mines minister Prafulla Mallik.

Hitting out at the state government over huge irregularities in mining operations in Odisha, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan urged chief minister Naveen Patnaik to come out with details of penalty recovered from the holders.

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