The Odisha government has committed to recover Rs 59,203 crore, which the MB Shah Commission said it had lost to unlawful extraction of iron and manganese in the state during 2008-2011.
In the action taken report tabled in Parliament on Monday along with the commission's report on illegal mining, the state government said efforts were being made to recover the amount by finalizing the proceeding on the basis of the reply furnished by the lessees.
The commission had pegged the value of the unlawful extraction of the two ores in the state in the said period at Rs 59,203 crore and said the state should recover this amount from the (illegal) miners and use the same for development of Keonjhar and Sundargarh districts mired in poverty.
The state government, however, said no to the commission's proposal for a CBI probe into the mining scam, saying the matter is sub-judice and action is being taken to recover the amounts and punish the guilty. The state is also against fixing a cap on production of these minerals.
The state government's ATR said: “Wherever production has been made in excess of the quantity permitted under various statutory clearances, demand has been raised against the lessee under section 21(5) of MMDR Act, 1957 to pay the price for the excess ore so raised. These cases will be finalized as early as possible. These cases cover the period between 2001-10 for the mines where extraction was observed to be in excess of the limit approved in the mining plan, environment clearances and consent to operate. Some of the lessees have obtained stay orders from the revision authority against the recovery.”
The commission has found involvement of “mighty lessees, big traders, political entities, officers in illegal mining”.