Mining scam: Odisha govt slaps closure notice to 7 mines

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Monday issued closure notice to seven mine lease holders for failing to pay fine by December 31, a deadline fixed by the Supreme Court.

The seven defaulters are Essel, OMM, Crop Resources, National Enterprises, Nesco, IDC and M/s Sirajuddin. These 7 had arrear due of Rs 3,000 crores to pay.

However, Essel and OMM have paid partly.

131 out of the total 152 mine leaseholders were issued demand notices for paying 100% fine as per the Supreme Court’s order. However, 72 mine leaseholders including 42 working mines paid the fine.

“Out of 131, 72-73 lessees have already deposited their fine payment by December 31, 2017. Out of these 30 are non-working mines who have paid. About 43 are working mines, who have also paid the compensation amount levied,” informed Mines director Deepak Mohanty.

He said Rs 8,223 crores has been collected from the lease holders by the end of the deadline.

The state government had issued demand notices to lease holders for collection of Rs 17,500 crore fine as compensation towards illegally extracted iron and manganese ore between 2000-01 and 2010-11.

The state government will submit the status report on fine collection to the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) appointed by the apex court in two to three days, Mohanty informed.

Next hearing of the case has been fixed for January 17.