Shah Commission term extended by another year
New Delhi: The government on Thursday extended the term of Justice MB Shah Commission, which is probing the issues of illegal mining of iron and manganese ore, by another year.
"The Cabinet today approved Mines Ministry's proposal to give a year's extension to Justice MB Shah Inquiry Commission," an official source said.
One-man Justice Shah Commission needed more time to visit 6-7 states including Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh to complete the inquiry, as per sources.
A senior Mines Ministry official had said yesterday that the Ministry had already proposed extension of his term by one year as he (Justice M B Shah) needed to visit mines in some states.
The commission, constituted in November 2010 to probe the issues of illegal mining, was to submit its final report by May 18 -- 18 months from its appointment.
So far, the commission has submitted two interim reports. Of this, one was submitted last year on the iron ore mining across the country and the other report was given in March this year on illegal mining in Goa.
The first report had recommended ban on iron ore exports. The second report is also believed to have recommended the same, though from Goa only.
Justice Shah Commission of enquiry had advocated ban on export of these minerals running into billions of rupees and warned that such activities could influence state policies besides promoting illegal mining.
"Export of 92 per cent of iron ore fines to China to fulfil its requirements, led to increase in illegal mining... This has increased menace of mafia controlling mining activities...It has given unimaginable huge profits," it had said.
Suggesting a ban on exports to conserve the mineral for future, the government-appointed Commission has said exports not only increase illegal activities but also influence state policies "because of money power".
The report had added, "It would be difficult to break unholy nexus between law keepers and law breakers because the corruption is likely to flourish."