Fines imposed by Odisha govt eyewash: BJP

The BJP described the Rs 67,900 crore fine imposed by the Odisha government on mines for excess production as an eyewash.

Bhubaneswar: Describing the Rs 67,900 crore fine imposed by the Odisha government on mines for excess production as an eyewash, the BJP on Wednesday demanded cancellation of mining licenses of the companies, confiscation of their machines and a CBI probe.

"In order to save its own skin, Odisha government has imposed fine on erring mines. It is only an eyewash to mislead the people when the Shah Commission probing the mining scam is on its third visit to the state," state BJP vice-president and spokesman Ashok Sahu alleged here.

By imposing penalty on mines indulging in excess extraction, the BJD government in Odisha admitted that irregularities took place in mining, he told reporters, adding, the very fact that the state government remained silent for 10 long years showed it was not sincere in stopping illegal mining.

Claiming that penalty notices issued to erring mines had loopholes to enable the companies to escape by moving the court, Sahu said all the equipment, machines and tools of these mining agencies should be confiscated forthwith.

In addition, revenue and commercial tax authorities must penalise mining companies which have converted roads and public places into dumping yards, the BJP leader said.

Dismissing the vigilance probe into mining scam since 2010 as meaningless and a mockery, Sahu asked the state government to hand over inquiry into irregular mining to CBI as it claims to be honest and transparent.

Moreover, since mining operation involved other states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, only CBI can ensure an effective probe, he felt.


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