New Delhi: States have collected Rs 622.29 crore from levying fines on illegal mining during the first three months of the current fiscal.
Mines Minister Dinhsa Patel said in a reply to the Lok Sabha that Maharashtra realised the highest fines during the period at Rs 131.43 crore, followed by Andhra Pradesh at Rs 93.04 crore.
Madhya Pradesh is slightly behind at Rs 85.10 crore, Tamil Nadu at Rs 65.73 crore and Karnataka at Rs 52.23 crore.
The Minister said a total of 25,519 illegal mining cases were detected during the April-June period of current fiscal compared to a total of 94,599 cases in the entire 2011-12.
States are empowered by law to make rules for preventing illegal mining, transportation and storage of minerals. They are the owners of the mines and fines recovered from illegal mining thus go to them.
Meanwhile, in a separate reply, Patel said mining and quarrying sector's contribution to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has come down to 2.41 percent in 2011-12 from 2.7 percent in 2010-11.